Astros Submit Uniform Design Changes, Might Change Ballpark

Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros pitcher David Carpenter pitches against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park. Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

The Astros are changing leagues in 2013. Several other things associated with the longtime NL franchise are also going to change.

The Houston Astros are the worst team in the National League.

That status will last for just 43 more games. On the 3rd of October at Wrigley Field, the Astros will play their final game as a member of the National League (for the foreseeable future, anyway). When the 2013 season dawns, they'll be the worst team in the American League.

Of course that last isn't guaranteed, but playing in a division that includes the powerful Rangers, the strong Angels and the resurgent Athletics, there doesn't seem to be much hope for Houston to be much good anytime soon.

That isn't stopping new owner Jim Crane from pushing ahead with changes to the team that will include new uniforms:

Crane ... said the Astros have submitted their redesigned uniforms to MLB for approval. He said the design includes "traditional" elements from past Astros uniforms and "incorporates them in a very modest way. They’re very classy."

The Astros have had at least six different styles of uniforms through their 51-season history, including the garish rainbow-colored jersey modeled by David Carpenter in the photo attached to this post. Some loved that style; others (like me) did not. A combination of elements from past uniforms in a "modest" and "classy" way? Sounds great, actually.

There's one more note from the very bottom of the link above that's even more interesting than new uniforms:

He also said the Astros are soliciting fans’ opinions on the future of Tal’s Hill in center field and that fans have said "they don’t see a lot of sense in having that 436(-foot fence) in center. We’re looking at a design that would incorporate some other things out there. We could use that space for a lot of different things."

Tal's Hill was a design feature meant to echo the incline in the outfield grass at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. But Crosley's incline was a natural feature of the terrain; Tal's Hill was a contrived gimmick. Minute Maid Park -- and I have been there -- feels as if the people responsible for its design had a committee meeting, at which it was stated, "Everyone think of all thee ballpark quirks you can and we'll put every single one of them in here!"

If the Astros remove the hill and shorten the center-field dimensions, Minute Maid Park will probably become a hitter's park, not to mention taking away a "feature" that could someday be dangerous (there's a flagpole, in play, at the top of the hill).

Give the Astros credit. They might not be a very good team at the moment, but they're doing their best to keep their fans engaged.

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