The Houston Astros are celebrating their 50th season this year, which at least gives them something to be proud of after last season's 106-loss effort. Their celebration, however, has been on the receiving end of censorship by Major League Baseball's commissioner's office and Bud Selig.
The Astros will utilize Friday home games to harken back to the days of the Colt 45s, tequila sunrise jerseys and so on this season. And the old Colt 45s jerseys, worn from 1962-1964, have been deemed inappropriate in their true historical form by MLB. The Astros have been told that the jerseys, which feature "Colts" across the chest with the C being formed by a whisp of smoke coming from a Colt .45 revolver, must not feature said armament.
Paul Lukas at Uni-Watch sums up the lunacy perfectly by pointing out that ".45s" will still be on the caps, signifying the caliber of the bullet. He goes on.
Finally, there’s the problem of trying to whitewash or sugarcoat history. Would a new team be able to call itself the Colt .45s and put a pistol on its jersey today? Nope. But things were different 50 years ago. That’s part of why we have throwback games — to serve as history lessons, to remind us, to show us, how things have changed. The Negro Leagues existed because of unforgivable racism, but we don’t pretend that none of that happened. Instead, we acknowledge that it took place and try to learn from it. I’m not trying to equate a pistol on a jersey with racial bigotry, mind you. I’m trying to say that revisionist history is always a sucker’s game.
Dave K at Yardbarker also makes the point that ,"NOBODY cares about the Astros. Kinda like how nobody cared about the Washington Bullets." Well stated.
Besides, if MLB decided that anything that could be offensive should be removed from a team's uniform or identity, then why do the Cleveland Indians get to keep Chief Wahoo and the Atlanta Braves their tomahawks? One could even take it further that non-Catholics could take issue with the San Diego Padres, or even teetotalers or Mothers Against Drunk Driving could push for Selig's beloved Milwaukee Brewers to change their name, which reflects the heritage of their hometown.
Aside from the lack of consistency, it seems that MLB is proactively making too strong an attempt to stay out of negative headlines that would surely be brought about by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and anti-gun group. Instead, they opted to irritate most of the nation's 80 million gun owners and the National Rifle Association.
This comes after the Tampa Bay Rays omitted the cigar from their Tampa Smokers throwbacks, as if to signify the mascot meant something else. It would be comparable to the Braves leaving out the screaming Indian on their sleeve if they threw back to their Milwaukee days.
MLB must come to realize that whether a team is throwing back to the Negro Leagues, an old minor league team or even to their own history, attempting to change history is always a futile exercise and will only anger the fans. If baseball can still celebrate the pre-Jackie Robinson era with Murderers Row and the like, then they should allow the Astros to acknowledge their first three years of existence accurately.
That is all we ask for.
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