After a couple of “whoops” glimpses at the new logo and cap over the past week through merchandising and media mistakes, the Houston Astros made their new uniform plans for 2013 officially visual to the public on Friday night at their Minute Maid Park Launch Party. About 3,000 fans clamored all over the infield level “standing room only” section that also held the runway, show case area, and a middle aged crazy “rock band” that misguidedly decided to hold themselves out to the world as “Molly and the Ringwalds.” The name simply reinforced the impression that the Molly-Gangers were really a parental revenge garage band that had been put together to piss off their adolescent kids.
Molly’s group gave it their best, but that was the problem: They gave it their best. Sound travels poorly in the unfriendly audio-confines of Minute Maid Park and, even though the Ringwalds riffed a few true rock chords along the way, Molly’s lyrics were totally inaudible, coming across more like the frantic feed-me cries of a baby Sparrow in Spring. – Wonder what the same conditions will do for Sir Paul McCartney when he passes through.
New Astros owner Jim Crane was out on the floor early to press the flesh of fans and make himself available for pictures, autographs, and quick small talk. Mr. Crane is a soft-spoken, courteous gentleman who comes across as genuine in his desire to please and do the right thing. I was dying to open a conversation about the ugly signs that hung in the far background behind one of the pictures I took, but there was no time to match the place for that little misadventure.
The “Toy Cannon” – #24 Mr. Jimmy Wynn was present. Other former Astros Icon sightings of Larry Dierker, Jose Cruz, J.R. Richard, along with 2004 MVP Roger Clemens and Jim DeShaies were in the camera-tip hopper, but I never saw them from where I was standing in the crowd. The MMP infield hasn’t been that crowded since …. well …. since last season. It was hard to move without immediately engaging a wall of human bumper-car players.
As far as I’m concerned, the new uniforms look great. The various combinations of orange and blue, the classic script font, and the throwback return to a logo that is close to virtually identical to the original design from the 1960s are each fresh, traditional, and strongly connected to Houston’s early MLB history. On this one, I have to give high marks to the new ownership and throw in a “Way to Go, Astros!”
The grey road jersey with the curved presentation of the letters “HOUSTON” and the number beneath the word is nothing less than a joyful tribute to the traditional design of classic baseball togs. (How many people today have even heard of “togs”?)
Orbit is back as the 2013 Houston Astros mascot. He arrived by limo and quickly made a stage appearance that defied the photo-taking efforts of yours truly and the other Astros-Papparazzi. Orbit’s blurring run to the stage reduced photography to an episode in the art of digital color spreading. If you examine the above carefully, you will find parts of Orbit, running from right to left.
“Thanks too to new Manager Bo Porter and General Manager Jeff Luhnow for your fired-up inspirational look at our near and down-the-road future in the American League. Believe me, Yours Truly, Orbit, when I say: These fans want to believe you as much as you want them to believe you. – Let’s get it done. – I just have one question: Is Chester Charge still around?” – Orbit
This back page of the handout piece says it best: “BIG AND BRIGHT. (LOGO) BACK FOR GOOD.”
Let’s just hope that those same words will soon embrace the quality of the Astros’ team play in the American League – and also our now missing view of downtown from MMP because of those ugly misplaced sponsorship recognition signs in left field.
Have a nice weekend, everybody! We understand that you can see more of this new gear at your local Academy store today.