Monday, March 8, 2010

1981 Houston Astros

Ugliest Uniforms Ever

This may be the last chance I get to comment on the 1970s era Houston Astros rainbow uniforms since the Astros move away from these after 1981. There are often many lists on the internet that discuss the worst baseball uniforms of all time, for example such as this link, and the rainbow Astros uniforms are always on such lists.

These are not ugly to me. In the current baseball environment of trying to squeeze every last dime out of the fans without selling the great game of baseball itself, there are several worse examples. The Blue Jays, Brewers, and Padres all come to mind. You know the current Blue Jay uniforms were tested in front of a sample group and determined that these would get the most money in souvenir purchases, and as a result you get a boring corporate logo that is unoriginal (doesn't every sport have angry birds now?) and largely forgettable.

These Astros uniforms as shown in the Gordy Pladson card above is more interesting. It comes from a time when teams were experimenting with colors that weren't from the time of black and white TV. These colors represent what the Astros really were, a 1960s expansion team playing on astro turf (which was cutting edge then), and were named after the then current dreams of the time (space exploration). This was definetly not a team that had a history before World War II. Traditional blue and white wouldn't have worked with this team. Granted, it is now 2010, and these uniforms wouldn't look right now, but I think they are far from the ugliest ever.

__ TO 696 C Alan Ashby HOU
__ TO 190 1B Cesar Cedeno HOU

2B Joe Pittman
__ TO 129 3B Art Howe HOU
__ TO 617 SS Craig Reynolds HOU
__ TO 105 LF Jose Cruz HOU
__ TT 828 CF Tony Scott HOU
__ TO 411 RF Terry Puhl HOU
__ TO 439 UT Denny Walling HOU

Starting Pitchers
__ TO 240 SP Nolan Ryan HOU
__ TT 782 SP Bob Knepper HOU
__ TT 839 SP Don Sutton HOU
__ TO 722 SP Joe Niekro HOU
__ TO 642 SP Vern Ruhle HOU

Relief Pitchers
__ TO 385 CL Joe Sambito HOU
__ TO 534 RP Dave Smith HOU
__ TO 513 RP Frank LaCorte HOU

Other Players
__ TT 765 SS Kiko Garcia HOU

2B Phil Garner
__ TO 313 C Luis Pujols HOU
__ TO 172 RF Gary Woods HOU
__ FL 72 1B Danny Heep HOU
__ TT 844 2B Dickie Thon HOU
__ TO 597 2B Rafael Landestoy HOU
__ TT 824 UT Dave Roberts HOU
__ TT 774 1B Mike Ivie HOU
__ TT 833 1B Harry Spilman HOU

UT Jeffrey Leonard

CF Scott Loucks

OF Tim Tolman

UT Alan Knicely
__ TO 253 1B Dave Bergman HOU

SS Bert Pena

RP Bobby Sprowl
__ TO 329 RP Joaquin Andujar HOU

RP Billy Smith
__ TO 491 RP Gordie Pladson HOU

__ TO 148 MN Randy Niemann HOU

__ FL 61 MG Bill Virdon (or DO 384)


  1. The Astros wore the rainbows in the 1986 ALCS, I think they just moved away from them as road unis too after 81.

  2. I thought they may have moved away from them after this season because the only card I could find with them in the Topps set was on the Gordie Pladson card.