Change is scary. It takes us out of our comfort zones, forcing us to conform to a whole new set of societal norms and accept things that are both foreign and unnerving.
It doesn’t matter if this change is for the better. The end of a toxic relationship, the big move to a big city, starting a new job with new challenges and a bigger paycheck. And of course, the renaming of our favorite sports teams.
Fortunately for Houston Astros fans, while certain things about the organization — namely, the league they’re in and the laundry the everchanging roster of players are sporting on the field — will be changing, one thing about the organization won’t.
The name. The Astros will be remaining the Astros even as everything around the organization enters the realm of the unfamiliar. There had been rumblings that new owner Jim Crane would rename the organization as they entered a whole new chapter in their history. And really, on the surface it would almost make sense. The team no longer plays in the Astrodome. They’re moving to the American League, in which they have no history of which to speak.
The organization has already undergone one rebranding as well — the team was originally known as the Colt .45s, after the gun of the same name. It’s a name that would never fly in today’s overly PC society but the logo…I mean, look at that thing. It’s a classic. From the script on the letters to the gun firing the “C” in Colt out of the barrel. It’s a byproduct of an era long since past but hardly forgotten. But I digress.
Fortunately for traditionalists who don’t like buying new clothes to support their team, one thing about the Major League Baseball team based out of Houston that won’t be changing is the name on the front of the uniforms.
“The thought of a possible name change caused a stir on Internet message boards and local sports talk radio stations. The majority of fans made it clear that they wanted the club to continue to be called the Astros, a name the team has had since it moved to the Astrodome in 1965.
“You asked for change, and we addressed our fan-friendly initiatives last week, and we hope you liked them,” Crane told fans in a videotaped interview. “We will continue to listen and look for additional ways to improve on and off the field. One thing we’re not going to change is the name. We received strong feedback and consensus among season-ticket holders and many fans, and we will not be changing [our name]. Astros are here to stay. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the ballpark soon.””
In the end, fan sentiment wins out because…well because it always does. Fan sentiment was what caused the Islanders to banish those ridiculous Gorton’s fisherman jerseys from existence, the Quad Cities River Bandits to re-exist, and countless other moves in professional sports. At the end of the day, professional sports financial dynasties are built on the backs of the fans who support them, crumbling around those who don’t. In this case, Houston liked the Astros (at least in name) just the way they were. As for the product on the field, that’s a different story.