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

Jan 23, 2012, 9:33 PM EST

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. mojosmagic - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I like the Houston Hombres because the owner is stealing money putting such a horrible product on field.

    • skids003 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      God forbid they change their name to that of a firearm, the PC police and anti gun nuts would be going berserk. I doubt that’s why this would happen, but it is Texas, so they might just do it anyway.

    • ras1tafari - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      - Houston We Have Problems
      – Houston Cardio Myopathists
      – Houston Tool Pushers (I’ve been watching Black Gold)
      – Houston Tribal Tats (same thing, I swear everyone in Texas has one)
      – Houston Pulled Porks

      • villainousjake - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        Everyone in Texas has a tribal tattoo? You’re an idiot.

  2. butchhuskey - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Houston Ass Trolls? Sorry, I have a juvenile sense of humor

  3. arthurviii - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    What would Mr. Crane change the name to? I think the funny choice would be the Devils. They would be the opposite of the Angels, and the Rangers are peacekeepers and rogue individuals. The Mariners would have hell with them because of their boats would be capsized, and the Athletics… well, have you ever seen a devil run a marathon?

    • butchhuskey - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      No, but I have heard “Runnin’ With the Devil.”

  4. chacochicken - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Hmmm, how about the “vacant seats”, maybe the “problems” , or “cash considerations”

  5. knicks4life - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    The Houston ass trolls

    • butchhuskey - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Sorry man, I said that one first

  6. knicks4life - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    I agree with butch

  7. chadjones27 - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    I’ve got a feeling that, in this day and age, someone will be upset with the name “Colt .45’s”
    Anti-gun groups will shoot that one down. (pun intended)

    • dwrek5 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      Yep, which is why the NBA team in Washington went from one of the cooler names in the league to the… Wizards?

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

        …while Washington’s other professional sports was allowed to keep it’s rather racist name.

      • D.J. Short - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:34 AM

        Indeed. The Wizards have changed their look back to the old Bullets-style unis, but it doesn’t look like the name is coming back. Understandable.

      • mactargoe - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Let’s not forget that they were more than cool as the “Baltimore” Bullets. When the Bullets left charm city, they ceased being the Bullets for us in Baltimore. Wizards is the Washington name that should have changed the moment they left Baltimore. Now the Wizards are absolutely the worst team in the NBA; the Baltimore Bullets never were. Nuff said.

    • dadawg77 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      What about MADD getting mad at their new spokesman Billy D Williams?

    • tiorda - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      You’re punny.

    • papacrick - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      If teams are allowed names like “Refskins” and “Indians” then I’m sure a gun reference can slide

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        I have less of a problem with the name “Indians” and more of a problem with their logo: The beat-red faced Native American. The difference between their logo and the logo for the early 20th century family restaurant Coon Chicken Inn (note: this actually existed) is that people had the good sense to stop using that logo (and name).

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        …that my rants on the subject shouldn’t be confused with my actually caring about it very much. What is it with the internet that causes you to have an opinion on things you never think about?

    • D.J. Short - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:26 AM

      I agree. It probably wouldn’t work. A gun obviously wouldn’t be in the logo, but the reference would always be there. And that’s enough for it to be too controversial.

  8. mattjg - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    If they really want to put fans in the seats, how about the Houston Ed Wade Is No Longer Affiliated With This Teams?

    • stex52 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Like that one!!

  9. stex52 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    A little piece of historical trivia that seems to be lost. The Colt 45’s changed their name because Judge Hofheinz (original owner) was sued for the copyright by the family and company that made Colt firearms. They won’t be going back to that name.

    I like Astros. I was there when the first game was played in 1965. It fits the city. I guess we could go “Glocks” or “Uzis”. Or in honor of the new owner, “profiteers.”

    But a name change is stupid.

  10. bloodysock - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Colt 45’s again? How about Olde English 800’s

  11. paperlions - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    War Profiteers?

    Catchy, relevant, accurate.

    • crisisjunky - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Now we’re getting to the crux… accurate, reavant,
      does’nt quite roll off the toungue, though the sentiment is lovely……
      Houston S.A.M.’s ?

  12. crisisjunky - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Houston Cranes…. there must be a few indiginous (sp) to the coast there.

    • Old Gator - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      There used to be. But the pollutants in the marshes these days dissolve their feet.

      • stex52 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        Now you are running into two areas I have some expertise in, OG, chemical plants and Gulf Coast birds. Texas (Upper Gulf Coast especially) is best in the country for wading birds. We even have the best hope left resident of that generally non-viable but lovable species, the whooping crane. The main threat to them is actually drought.

      • wlschneider09 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM

        Not to mention the meerkats have cut into their reproductive rates….

  13. paperlions - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Calling the team the Colt 45s or Colt .45s would likely run into copyright problems with either the Colt family or the malt liquor.

  14. apmn - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    How about the Houston Brewers? That’s a good name for an AL team.

    • paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:12 AM

      Fantastic!

      • stex52 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:28 AM

        Please, gentlemen! Have a little compassion.

  15. goforthanddie - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    That’s one way to start recovering the purchase price.

  16. Gordon - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Go with Colt 45s & have Billy Dee Williams as the official spokesperson & mascot. Them were some kick ass commercials back in the day.

  17. bloodysock - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Any chance they do what the Rockies did and bring back the name of a former professional sports franchise in that city, in this case the Oilers?

    • stex52 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM

      Probably a pretty good chance, but I hope not.

  18. philliesblow - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I suggest the Houston We Have a Problems. I know grammatically it sounds odd, but it’s an accurate description otherwise.

  19. jwbiii - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Armadillos. They’re looking like roadkill for the foreseeable future.

    • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:25 AM

      mmmm, tatu. I like it.

  20. North American Bowl - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Houston Colts.

    Houston Bullets.

    Houston Berattas.

  21. twitterhappier - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Houston Cash Considerations is really f-ing funny. That gets my vote.

  22. astrosfan75956 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    I’m on board with everything, but the name change.

  23. doubledeuce22 - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Dallas Astros of Houston

    • bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      This would be funny if Houston wasn’t the 4th largest City in the country and a larger media market than Dallas/Ft worth.

  24. bleed4philly - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    If Chicago has the bears and the cubs, how bout the Houston Astronauts? Houston Baby Texans? Or how bout something odd like a premier league soccer team name? The Houston Wanderers?

    • Bryz - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Premier league soccer? Then you must go with Real Houston.

  25. Ducky Medwick - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Houston-Ham Fighters?

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