Colt .45s throwback jerseys won’t feature pistol

Big League Stew

Holster those pistols, Houston.

That's the message that Major League Baseball has for the Houston Astros as they plan to celebrate their franchise's 50th anniversary in 2012.

As part of the party, the team is planning to wearing throwback jerseys from different eras, including from when the team was known as the Colt .45s for the first three years of its existence.

But while the team is free to acknowledge their first years in Houston, the Uni Watch blog notes that the league has decided the jerseys cannot include the pistol that was part of the Colt .45s logo.

The Astros plan to wear the Colt .45s jerseys on April 10 and 20 and tells Astros Daily that the team's original intention had been to feature the jersey in its "complete" form. A version of the jersey featuring the pistol was even unveiled at an event last September.

The league office, however, raised an objection to that plan:

"It was expressed to us that we could wear the uniform as long as the pistol was removed," Astros rep Mike Acosta wrote to Astros Daily. "We realize this changes the original design, but we still want to honor the Colt .45s. We are also under an obligation to follow Major League Baseball's requests.

Personally I can see how in this time period any sports league ...  would not want a team logo associated with a weapon on their uniform that is broadcast to many people. In recent years the Washington Bullets were renamed the Wizards because of this very subject. The symbol of a warm gun with the "C" coming out as smoke is an image many of us have for the Colt .45s. The Wild West theme this franchise had in the early 1960s is symbolic of how times have changed in our society.

Yep, I would say that is indeed symbolic how times have changed in our society. In fact, there's nothing at all hypocritical about it all. It's not like we're  subjected to 1,437 images of guns each day — from No. 1 selling video games to primetime television.

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Nope, it's the pistol on the chests of what will likely be a 100-loss team — for all of two early season games! — that will send the wrong message to children. In a state where it's legal to carry a concealed firearm, no less. Yup, got it. Makes sense.

(If the kids ask what the team's name used to mean, there's always malt liquor.)

Look, I understand where Major League Baseball is coming from. Just because everyone else in today's society is going violent doesn't mean the league should, too.

[Also: New York Mets legend Gary Carter's unapologetic joy was a treasure]

I also shoot the above sarcasm as a pretty staunch supporter of strict gun control laws.

But after seeing a similar decision made with the Tampa Bay Rays "cigar" jerseys in 2011, the side of my self that strives for accuracy thinks baseball is using just a little too much bleach with these neutered unis. (Uni Watch imagined the lame censored version here.)

It's two games. It's one gun.

Baseball should either remember history right or it shouldn't remember it at all.

Pitchers and catchers report this weekend, so don't miss a beat ...
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