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Astros & Angels Celebrate 50 Years of Astros (and the Astrodome)

Astros Angels 550

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By Phil Hecken

Yesterday evening the Houston Astros, as part of their 50 Anniversary of the Astrodome (also 50 years since they were renamed “Astros”) Celebration, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, played a throwback game in the Astrodome. Both teams wore throwbacks, as you can see from the splash photo. We’ll get to those in a second.

But first, in order to set the evening’s feel, the Astros had some throwback feel to the game, with the grounds crew and the “Spacettes” dressed in ‘period’ attire:


'Spacettes' show off the 1965 replica Astrodome

If you’re wondering what the Spacettes are holding, it’s a replica Astrodome, which was given out as a souvenir to fans.

Now, onto the game.

This is not the first time the Astros have thrown back to 1965. They did so against the Phillies in 2010 — I previewed that game at the time (if you want to see what the 1965 unis should look like, read that article). The also threwback to those uniforms in 2012 (you can read about that here). I gave them high praise back in 2012 for breaking out what I still consider to be (far and away) their best looking uniform set (the Astros are one of those rare teams who “got it right” from the start). Last night, they again wore throwbacks — but it was disappointing, because they wore them in a cream set (obviously to make them look more like yellowed wool uniforms); they equipped the Angels in 1965 period-appropriate uniforms as well, including the famous halo for the Angels’ caps.

While several of the Astros went high-cuffed, not all did, and that caused a rather disappointing mish-mash of styles. Most of the Angels when long-pantsed as well. Neither team wore a throwback helmet (although the Astros current lid is almost as good as a throwback). I did not notice, but it was pointed out to me that the Astros wore their current caps (which look like the original), but have the 3-D star. Disappointing. Also disappointing was the fact that the Angels wore red shoes and belts, as these are anachronistic with those uniforms. At least, both teams went NNOB.

How’d the game look? About as you’d expect, with a mixing of uniform styles and high-cuffery/pajamism.

Below are several photos from the game — click on any to enlarge:

Angels uni

Angels halo caps

CJ Wilson 2

Dallas Keuchel

Jonahan Villar

Mike Trout 2

Lowrie, Springer

Jose Altuve

Grossman, Altuve, Marisnick

Game over

Even with all the minor quibbles (as noted above), this was still a nice looking game and proof that for two teams who began their lives in 1961 and 1962 respectively, their earlier uniforms are still far better than their current ones — and ones that they could easily be wearing today and looking great in.

What do you guys think?


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Back today with our good friend and long-time colorization expert, Bruce Menard, with a fantastic baseball colorization. I also received one from Gary Chanko, but it’s good enough (and with a great backstory) to be a lede, so I’ll get to that one shortly.

Here’s Bruce (click to enlarge):

. . .

z1935 (Apr16) Babe Opening Day HR (2015 edit2) colorW - Bruce Menard

1935 Babe Opening Day HR (Carl Hubbel) orig

Good morning Phil,

Hey, that pic from this morning of Babe Ruth making his NL debut was my colorization.
I first worked on it a few years back, but I revisited it for a new edit for today. The original was pretty lo-res, so adding color was a challenge!

Maybe you could use it for “Colorize This!” for the weekend?

Description: 80 Yrs Ago Today: Babe Ruth Makes His NL Debut
Braves Field, Boston – April 16, 1935
~ I added some color to this great pic of The Babe crossing the plate after hitting his first National League home run off of Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants. The Braves won by a score of 4-2, and for a moment, it seemed like things might work out for The Babe back in Boston after all…


. . .

Thanks Bruce!


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Tyler Henninger with a some new looks for the Texas Rangers:

Tyler Henninger - Texas 1

Tyler Henninger - Texas 2

Tyler Henninger - Texas logo

Mr. Hecken,

My name is Tyler Henninger and I am a big uniform watcher. I have created a concept for the Texas Rangers. The concept consists of a new primary logo, new home uniform, minor tweaks to the away uniform, a new home alternate, minor tweaks to the away alternate, and a Sunday throwback home alternate (Kinda like the Pirates). I have attached it below and was hoping you could respond with what you think. I added a powder blue throwback away uniform and changed the new primary logo.

Tyler Henninger

. . .

And we close today with Garrett Heinrich who has many new Houston Texans looks:

Home - Garrett Heinrich

Away - Garrett Heinrich

HOme-Alternate -  - Garrett Heinrich Away-Alternate - Garrett Heinrich

Crazy-Texans-Jerseys - Garrett Heinrich

W-oilers-throw-back - Garrett Heinrich

Hey Phil,

Just some Ideas I did for my site after Arian Foster talked about using different unis.

My stories:

Garret Heinrich

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.


EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 32 & 33 (click to enlarge):

EPL Tracker Weeks 32 & 33


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Check out the strong stirrup game here. Those are ’57 Cubs rups — and they used to be mine — on the son of Megan Marshall. Here’s how they looked back then. … It could just be due to how he’s sitting, but Matthew DeLeon thinks the “B” on Kris Bryant’s NOB looks at an off-angle. … Five years ago yesterday, St. Paul artist Ray Barton, 80, passed away. He created iconic Minnie & Paul logo for $15 in 1961 (via Jimmy Lonetti). … The LA/California Angels minor league affiliate in Seattle used to wear halo caps too (also from Jimmy Lonetti). … Last night, the San Antonio Missions did an Autism Awareness jersey thingy (via MiLB Promotions). … The Indians went with red undershirts & socks with their new blue jerseys (via Jarod Miller). … Check out Mets reliever Alex Torres’s new protective cap (which is a different style than he wore last year with the Padres). Thanks to Paul and Marc Carig for that. He got into the game last night, and here’s how it looked (h/t Former Dirt Dart). Here’s an even closer close-up. … Northwestern Wildcats have just a hint of the Northwestern stripe in their leg bumper sticker. And on their shoulder blade stripes (thanks to Greg Mays). … Nice stirrups on UNLV yesterday (from Preston Faudere). … They may be wearing the accursed color of death, but dig the stirrups on the Muncie Central (Indiana) baseball team (via Andrew Walker). … To celebrate their third World Series win in 5 seasons, the San Francisco Giants wore gold lettering and numbers on their jerseys and caps (h/t Josh Herndon). You can see more photos here.

NFL News: This old photo of Jim Zorn & Steve Largent reminds Douglas Ford of Siegfried and Roy. Great jerseys those Seahawks had. … Check out the shredded sleeves on Art Monk, in what looks like the 1994 season (h/t Douglas Ford). … Check out the old facemask/helmet and jersey on Jackie Smith (thanks to Douglas Ford). Also from Douglas comes this wonderful mud photo of Jackie Smith.

College Football News: Last year’s Navy Football uniforms are on display at their complex (via Pam Chvotkin). … For yesterday’s Spring Game, Notre Dame football wore Fr. Ted patches (h/t Mark Cross). … Not much surprise here, but at their spring game, Ohio State still had seven stars (for their 7 Natl. Championships) on their collars (nice grab by Mark Lindsay). … Looks like Purdue will have some new white helmets this fall (thanks to Karl Kraebber). … The gacanefanblog asks, “New helmet” for the Beavers?

Soccer News: “The blue-ish La Liga ref uniform really clashing with Barcelona’s blue,” says Holy Calamity). Here is a better, close up view. While that looks bad, I’m told it was not that difficult to tell the players and ref apart.

Grab Bag: “Shawn Johnson just posted this picture…umm what is going on with that face mask?” asks Keenan Soto. Anyone? … “A couple years ago my wife bought me this mechanical pencil at a booth at the annual Atlantic Antic street fair in Brooklyn for $5,” writes William Olsen-Hoek. “It appears to be made of a red plastic material and is inscribed with the signature of Luke Hamlin who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers between 1937 and 1941. I haven’t been able to find any information about the pencil nor have I found any similar objects from the same time period on the internet. Wondering if your network of experts might have a clue.” … This is gorgeous: A 1971 Central Districts SANFL jumper featuring stud buttons (from Graham Clayton). … Should the Pelicans be worried about their chances against the Warriors Worriors (nice screen grab by Mike McCutcheon). … Check it out — Carey Price’s mask has a collar lace up design on the chin! (thanks to Wafflebored).


That’s going to do it for today everyone. If you didn’t see yesterday’s entry (with the USFL reimagined entries) or you want to vote again, click here. You guys have a great week and I’ll be back with ya soon!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed those NFL butt logos.”
–Marty Hick


Comments (41)

    Couldn’t not agree more about the Angels/Astros unis. Definitely got it right to start with. Pretty plain yet distinctive. Love ’em. However, there are a couple of typos in the lede you may want to go back and fix. “The also threwback…”, should be “they” and “…Angels when long-pantsed…” should be “went”. Great work as always!

    William Olsen-Hoek,

    Looks like most brklyn dodger bat pencils are selling for (or asking for) ~$30 range


    Here’s a “Dolph Camili” version for sale. Same markings but not red bat.


    I’m told “Dolph Camilli” is Italian for the French “Mont Blanc”.

    I wonder if it’s not so much the ‘B’ in Bryant that’s angled improperly–the ‘T’ seems pretty similar–but perhaps the ‘R’ is too upright?

    Best word I can apply to those Rangers concepts is “inconsistent.” Two distinct eras combined with two separate shades of blue (most jarringly seen in the primary logo). A good first improvement is to pick one shade of blue (my choice would be the darker shade of the Lone Star Flag logo) and apply it across the board.

    As much as I love the idea of the halo cap, it doesn’t quite work for me on the field. It looks much better hanging in the locker.

    I’d sandpaper a bobcats’ butt for the Astros to wear those unis full time, can’t say I like the Angels halo caps either.

    Interesting stuff this morning:

    I agee that going cream on the Houston throwbacks was just plain wrong. It should be mandatory that the Angels wear halo caps at all times.

    Jim Zorn almost looks like a young Cosmo Kramer.

    Enjoyed the Jackie Smith photos. Gargantuan elbow pads and a rare look at an NFL game from Busch Stadium I – Sportsmans Park.

    I think Zorn looks more like the Alternate Universe Cosmo Kramer.
    And what with that pic? I’m pretty sure it’s an ad for Mom Jeans.
    P.S. I love my Getano.

    Love the Dunguard face mask on Jackie Smith too bad he didn’t take it with him to the Cowboys (or catch a TD pass in the Super Bowl : (
    Yeah I know I should let it go, but I am still bitter after all those years : )
    For all you youngsters Jackie dropped a crucial TD pass against the Steelers in SB 13.

    “I did not notice, but it was pointed out to me that the Astros wore their current caps …”

    This is incorrect. Last night, the Astros wore caps with orange squatchees, which is what the 1965 Astros wore. The current day Astros wear navy blue squatchees on their solid navy and orange-billed navy caps. So unless they customed replaced squatchees, these are throwback caps.

    link — last night’s throwbacks

    link — current navy blue caps

    Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that I think the shooting-star jerseys blow away the current home whites.

    Look at the guy in the stirrups, high-fiving #8. His cap very clearly has a green underbrim. That makes it even more likely that these are throwback caps, and probably proves it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Phil is absolutely right about the Astros “shooting star” uniforms: they’re perfect. Although it’s weird that the Astros are celebrating the still-standing building they abandoned years ago. It’s like taking your ex-wife out for an anniversary dinner, ten tears after you divorced her.

    The Astros 1965 throwbacks are just awesome – and what the team should be wearing all the time.

    Damn….. I was watching MLB network with sound off and so I looked up and thought “sweet, the Astros changed this season to that awesome throwback look” because I hadn’t seen them this year yet….. damn… it’s just for a special game :(

    In the muddy Jackie smith pic…. look at the back of Cardinal #3’s helmet….. the vertical line on back….. did they do some dynamo tape names on the back of the helmets like the Cowboys for a while? It’s too blurry for me to tell what that is….

    I would vote “yes” for the Astros to adopt that throw back all the time, many of us were very disappointed with the look they ended up adopting.

    Like some others who have commented, I’m not as sold on the Angels look, the hat is goofy and the rest is rather meh.

    Great column as always

    Anyone else notice that the “NBA PLAYOFFS” logos were absent from the floors during yesterday’s first round games? Is this the first time this has happened since they were introduced? I always felt they gave the games a subtle hint of specialness, so it’s not a welcome change IMO.

    Did the original Astros 1965 uniform set have the stars on the side of the stirrups?

    I have a theory with the Indians unis this year. The switch to the darker blue and the red accessories/ socks (BTW TJ House is wearing red stirrups today, along w/ Lonnie Chisenhall going high cuffed w red socks.) When the Indians went to this uniform style w/ the script lettering across the chest from the 80s/ “Major League” look they added the blue alt and it was the darker shade of blue, which the Indians had used all along. Not quite Yankee dark, but a very dark shade of blue. Sometime in the early 2000s they lightened the shade of blue and made the Chief Wahoo smaller on the caps. They also at some point switched to blue accessories (dressed to the nines was no help on this one) probably 2002 when the headspoon switched from red to blue. My point in all of this- it’s the 20th anniversary of the 1995 team that was probably the best team in Indians history, and the first in that Jacobs Field run of success in the 90s.

    Maybe the return to the darker blue and red accessories is a nod to the 1995 team?

    Anyone go to that Astros game last night? If you did, and if you don’t want your mini Astrodome giveaway, I have stuff. Let’s talk.

    I’ve never been a fan of the helmet strip extending on to the facemask. That little bit of gold on Purdue’s facemask is completely uncalled for.

    @ StLMarty – nailed it with the Bizarro Kramer and the Mom jeans. But they were sweet unis.
    Re: Rangers concepts – royal blue and red are visually disturbing when placed next to each other like that. Like a bad visual effect. Needs white to keep them apart.

    Greetings from Alaska! From the obscure dept….Zorn and Largent were holding a “generic” Super Bowl XXV game ball in the picture. Any significance? Seahawks dreaming? Just curious! Thanks for the website Paul.

    Good eye, Daniel…I hadn’t noticed the printing on that football.

    Doesn’t make much sense, though…both of those guys had already retired by then.

    Well, I’m a bit late to the party on this (it’s been a busy weekend), but I wanted to comment briefly on Garret Heinrich’s article and concepts.

    I don’t like the idea of holding up the Seattle Seahawks current design as a model for future changes. Yes, taste is subjective, but I’ve yet to read a positive critique of that set which describes *why* it supposedly looks *good*. All anyone seems to say is that it’s “fresh,” “modern,” “new,” or “different.” None of these things alone necessarily makes for a pleasing look.

    I was unsure whether the proposals involve using multiple helmets. NFL rules state that each team may have only one helmet design for their uniform set. (The lone exception is a throwback helmet, but even this is currently limited to what can be managed using a single shell per season.) Now, if the Texans went with a white helmet *all the time*, that would certainly be permissible.

    Also, the lower socks must be white. This is still a rule, and with good reason, in my estimation. Those colored sanis shown in some of the concepts are just garish and weird.

    Besides that, it’s a mixed bag. I rather liked the red-over-navy combo with the red-top socks. And the white-over-red is kinda cool (the contrasting sleeves are nice), but it probably needs some navy-top socks; the Texans just aren’t a particularly stripey team.

    Oregon State helmet logo was for spring practice. No word on if they will use it in the future.

    Why, oh, why, aren’t those the Astros current uniforms?

    They are infinitely better than their current set.

    the Astros NEED to make this their jerseys now! What they have currently could not be more lame. What’s with the wordmark on their chests? Zero thought or creativity went into that. Like they were created for some little league team.

    The helmet Shawn Johnson is holding is clearly not bolted/screwed properly to the helmet – it looks as though the 2 side bolts/screws are in, but they didn’t affix the top.

    “They may be wearing the accursed color of death, but dig the stirrups on the Muncie Central (Indiana) baseball team”

    I grant them absolution.

Comments are closed.