The Houston Astros seem to have found their ideal jerseys in the playoffs.
For you hardcore Astros fans, you know Houston would typically only wear their orange jerseys for two occasions: Friday night home games or a Game Seven of a World Series. The sweet alternates have been worn from Game One of the Wild Card Series against the Minnesota Twins to Game Three of the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. But why? Because of superstition.
Superstition is huge in sports, but it is most prevalent in baseball. From Dustin Pedroia readjusting his gloves after every pitch to hitters like Jason Kipnis who have their hands over the plate until the pitcher comes set. Superstitions are silly as can be to fans and to baseball analysts, but to the players, it is what makes them tick. It is their niche, without which they do not think they will play at the highest level that they can.
For the Astros, the past four years have come down to these orange jerseys. The alternate jersey was worn seven times this season and the team held a record of 3-4 — three wins at home and four loses on the road. The opposite happened in the playoffs as they went 4-1 in the orange tops— four wins on the road and one loss at home (or at least as the home team).
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I think the whole idea stems from Game Seven of the 2017 World Series. The Astros capped off their first ever title that year with these jerseys, but tried again in 2019. We all know that didn’t work out.
This whole situation gives off a very 2019 Washington Nationals vibe. The Nats were a Wild Card team that slipped past the Milwaukee Brewers, dodged the Los Angeles Dodgers and swept the St Louis Cardinals en route to beating the Astros. During all but three of their playoff games, the Nats wore their navy blue jerseys. They won the World Series as the underdog.
The Astros have the same mentality right now except they aren’t really an underdog, but they are heavily doubted just like Washington was. They are first team in American League history to make the postseason with a below .500 record, and it shows they are doubted and hated for this. Yet they have something to prove; they are trying to win a World Series after the sign stealing scandal.
So hopefully the Astros found their superstition. The 5-1 playoff team wins in road orange and wins in home white. Moving forward, I hope this overthinking of uniforms actually keeps happening, or it could make me look very delusional.