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New Astros’ owner says he’s considering changing team name

Jan 23, 2012, 9:33 PM EDT

Jim Crane Getty image Getty Images

New Astros owner Jim Crane unveiled some fan-friendly initiatives earlier today, including lower ticket prices, partial rebates for season ticket holders, lower concession prices and relaxed policies on outside food and beverage. While those are all well and good, they were overshadowed by some interesting comments about the team’s future as they prepare for a move to the American League next season.

According to the Associated Press, Crane indicated that they are currently mulling over changes to the uniforms and most interestingly, whether to change the team’s name.

“We’re going to study the information both from the fans and from all sorts of marketing people,” Crane said. “I’m not saying we’re going to change. We haven’t made the decision yet whether we’re going to change.”

The Astros were originally known as the Colt .45s when they were introduced to the National League as an expansion team along with the Mets in 1962. The team’s name was changed to the Astros when they moved to the Astrodome in 1965. There’s a lot of tradition there, but with the Astrodome in the rear-view mirror and the team about to switch leagues, the possibility of a new identity hasn’t been dismissed.

“We had the Colt .45s and everybody liked that one,” Crane said. “So you can imagine how upset they were when we switched that. What you get when you look at the fan base is the older we get and I’m old, you don’t like to change. But the younger fans are very receptive to change and the older ones aren’t, so that’s what we saw with the American League.”

I almost feel like this is out of bounds for me to discuss since I’m not an Astros fan, but switching back to the Colt .45s could have some appeal. While I haven’t heard much clamoring for a name change, this could be a way to find some middle ground between traditionalists and those hungry for something new. Edit: I’m aware that this will probably never happen for a wide variety of reasons. Thanks to those of you who filled me in on the copyright infringement situation, for example. The franchise was also named after a firearm and had this logo. The world is a very different place now than it was in 1962, so I agree with many of you who say it would just be too controversial. The name is unlikely to change at all. Still, it’s a fun possibility to think about on this cold January night.
  1. royhobbs39 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Houston Nutts?

  2. simon94022 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Houston Oilers would be awesome.

    They should also change the team colors to powder blue–that would be a huge improvement over the last 5 decades of Houston baseball uniform history.

  3. leftywildcat - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    How about the “Houston Colts” ? Without the “45” in the name, it’s a horse — couldn’t be a copyright issue.

    How about “Houston Hawks” ?

  4. chocopoppy - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    How about the Houston Deathrows?

    Seriously, why not do just the opposite….keep the name but go back to some version of the orange unis? I loved the days of teams showing a little color — ‘Stros, A’s, Pirates come to mind. I’m sick of almost every team wearing either black or dark dark blue. Boooring. And why change the name when it’s not something disparaging or embarrassing like Redskins, Bullets, or…Browns.

  5. JB (the original) - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Al Bundy would prefer the Houston Bigguns.

  6. missingdiz - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Consisering “Redskins,” “Indians,” “Braves,” and not to mention all the caricatures of black people, maybe it’s time to compensate a bit. Houston Honkies?

  7. donttazemebro - Jan 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Houston Enrons

  8. strosfan85 - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    i seriously hope that the name does not change.. uni changes i wouldnt mind seeing, maybe bring back some of the elements of the mid-to-late 90s unis(my absolute favorites)

  9. dowhatifeellike - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Houston Paper Mill Stench

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