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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. donttazemebro - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    The Oilers.They can do that right?

  2. sixsixny - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Kinda like the Houston Halliburtons since they’re headquartered there. Lot’s of great promotion nights…Dick Cheney Pheasant Hunt Night…shots only $.50…just duck when you order them…
    They can rename the bulpen, “The Bunker”…and can’t you wait to see the mascot, old Dick himself snarling down the other team…

  3. tn16 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Huston colt .45’s
    Huston oilers
    Huston A holes
    Huston Hero’s
    Huston hustlers
    Huston howitzers
    Huston colts
    Huston jets
    Huston hazers
    Huston hawks
    Huston All stars
    Huston haring

  4. sonoco - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Houston Problems

  5. yettyskills - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I said Colt 45 and 2 Zig Zags…
    Baby, that’s all we need.
    We can go to the park, after dark;
    And smoke that tumble weed.
    As the marijuana burns, we can take our turn,
    Singing them dirty rap songs.
    Stop and hit the bong like Cheech and Chong.
    And send our tapes from here to Hong Kong.
    So roll, roll, roll my joint.
    Pick out the seeds and stems.
    Feelin’ high as hell, flying through Palmdale.
    Skating on Dayton rims.
    So roll, roll the 83,
    Caddilac Coupe DeVille
    If my tapes and my Cds just don’t sail, bet my Caddy will.

  6. cavalieryankee - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Houston 500

  7. bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Not for nothin, if there is a name change, and I’m not sure there should be, but there is positively ZERO chance that the team would be renamed the Colt .45’s in this glorious age of PC public outrage campaigns. The anti-gun crowd would immediately seize the opportunity and ride it for days if not months or years of free and easy high profile publicity.

    Eventually Crane would cave and return to Astros or something more in line with the times . . . introducing the Houston Hucksters evoking the enchanting charm of Enron.

    Then again, a nice cross-promotion could occur with a new CSI based in Houston and starring David Caruso (who else? John Munch? Amateur. Uh, Andy Sipowicz? 2 words: desk duty.) . . . new team name? The Houston Horacio’s.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:09 AM

      There is ZERO chance of it occuring because of copyright laws, and not because of “PC outrage” or anti-gun groups.

      As an anti-gunner, however, I would like to suggest that until you have somebody you love shot dead with a gun specifically bought to commit the murder, maybe you should just shut the old claptrap up.

      You do not represent my mode of thinking. Let that be understood, oh Wise One.

      As for Jim Crane and his name change, it’s a stupid idea. Maybe even dumber than sending a National League team to the American League. But definitely not as dumb as somebody trying to sound intelligent when all he’s doing is lambasting folks like Dittohead.

      Ain’t nothin’ dumber than a Dittohead.

      • paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:23 AM

        I understand your sentiment. But if someone wants to kill someone else that badly, they are going to find a way…guns or not. Murder was invented millions of years before guns.

      • gostros19 - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        @paperlions- you realize murder wasnt “invented” right?

      • bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        Let me first advise you of the pitfalls of trying to neatly box up a persons politics – especially when you used a rather liberal (little ‘l’ – not big ‘L’) interpretation of the words in my post – based on a few comments in a baseball blog.

        Suffice it to say, you are pretty far off on my politics, friend. This past election I enthusiastically supported an openly gay Progressive Democrat. He’s more Progressive than Democrat.

        Let’s just say if the average mainstream moderate is someone who views themselves as sharing a fairly equal amount of Democrat/Liberal and Republican/neo-con positions, then I’m the exact opposite of that . . . that is someone who shares a fairly equal amount of Progressive and Libertarian viewpoints.

        I don’t own a gun. Never have and maybe never will. Personally, I’m much more a pacifist isolationist. But I support the right to own firearms.

        While anecdotal tragedy is important to remember and learn from, it does not serve as a rational analysis of the problems that we do have with guns.

        And trust me, it isn’t the copyright laws that would prevent such a name change from taking place. The apparel company that currently owns mark would get a pretty sweet deal to turn the mark over to Crane and MLB, Properties.

    • bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Incidentally, the most absurd aspect of this story is that the Houston baseball team was known as the Colt .45’s for 3 years and have been the Astros for the past 46 years.

      Most importantly . . . the name “Astros” reflects a vital feature of the Houston area . . . the space program.

      Colt .45’s on the other hand were made in Connecticut where Colt has been for the past 175 years.

  8. weaselpuppy - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    gotta be the

    Houston Frackers

    • apmn - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM


  9. bmceh - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Opening Day giveaway:
    The 1st 5,000 fans (if there are that many) get a free Colt 45 so they can off themselves and end the suffering before it begins.

  10. crisisjunky - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    In the 45’s vein… Houston Hestons.. decent firearm reference without infringement issues.

  11. sdelmonte - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    I think that wanting to shed the Astros name is a sign of the times, as no one but us space enthusiasts seems to care much about the space program. Don’t forget that Houston is still home to the Johnson Space Center, and I would think the Astrodome was given its name because of the connection between Houston and the space program.

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

      Why not the The Houston Johnson’s…..can’t wait to see the logo!!

  12. needtoplay - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    I would like to propose the Houston Mystery Team. Baseball needs a real Mystery Team. And it makes it easier to read the Hardball postings about Scott Boras having a “mystery team” lined up for one of his clients.

    And besides, sometimes it is a real mystery trying to figure out just what this team is doing…… sighhhh…………

    But……. switching ownership, switching leagues….. good time to switch names and begin a new chapter. Just let their real fans pick the name, Mr. Crane.

  13. bobwheel - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    The Houston Streets.

  14. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Houston United (capture that global Euro crowd in Houston… Oh never mind that one)
    Houston Humidity
    Houston Mosquitos
    Houston Enronians
    Houston Hotbed of Unfounded Steriod Allegations
    Houston Killer B’s
    Houston Oil Lobby

  15. JB (the original) - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    The “Juicer’s” of Minute Maid Park? Nahh, that might have the same negative connotations that “Colt .45’s” has…

    • JB (the original) - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Though “Houston Juicers” does roll off the tongue nicely.

  16. acdc363 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Just switch the name back to the colt 45’s that name is badass

  17. antlerclaws - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Houston Humidity.

  18. karlton2 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    How about the Houston Team to be Named Later?

  19. raidafan - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Why not change the name to the Texans. Similar to what St. Louis did when they had the football and baseball teams with the same name.

  20. buffalomafia - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Houston NRA?

  21. stex52 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    I suggest that when a certain NY team is ready to change their name to the “Confederates”, then I will agree that Houston needs to change their name.

    But that gives me another idea. Since so many people are moving down here, how about the “Houston Former Yankees?”

    On the subject of name relevance, when was the last time anyone dodged a trolley in Los Angeles?

  22. greymares - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Houston Iron Pigs (they are a Phillies farm team, right?)

  23. gosport474 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Sticking with the firearm theme, how about the Houston Cannons, which would also honor Jim Wynn, the Toy Cannon.

  24. sumerduckman - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Hows about these new names.
    Houston Javelinas
    Houston Pistolas

  25. spudchukar - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    “Team to be named later” would be my choice.

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