Houston Astros Logo History: 1962-Today

The Houston Astros have returned to the World Series for the fourth time in the last six seasons (or, you could say, for three consecutive 162-game seasons). An impressive feat for a club that, less than a decade ago, was wrapping up their third straight 100+ loss season.

As they headed into the 2022 World Series, the Astros were undefeated throughout this Postseason following a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS and a four-game sweep of the East Division champion New York Yankees in the ALCS. That came to a halt following a stunning Game One loss to the Phillies in the Fall Classic, one in which they essentially spotted a 5-0 lead. With the series now tied up at one, the Phillies have home-field advantage in what is now effectively a best-of-five.

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LINK: Houston Astros complete logo and uniform history

While we wait for Game Three to get underway, let’s look back at the Houston Astros Logo History, from their 1962 expansion season as the Colt .45s, through their name change/move to the Astrodome, and eventually transferring over to the American League in 2013.

Houston Astros Team Name History

The Houston Astros began their life in the National League as the Houston Colt .45s, an expansion team joining along with the New York Mets in 1962. The team was named after the 19th century Colt branded firearm, “the gun that won the west,” following a name-the-team contest. Two years later, a trademark dispute with Colt Firearms resulted in the team changing their name to the Astros in 1965, a nod to the space industry, which was all the fashion in 1960s Houston. The Astros name was then applied to the club’s new domed stadium, and subsequently, the artificial turf placed inside the stadium was named “AstroTurf.” So, you have a legal challenge by Colt Firearms to thank for all three of those names.

Houston Astros Logo History

Once “Astros” was selected as the franchise’s new forever name in 1965, they introduced an emblem which showed the club’s new, innovative, domed Houston AstroDome stadium (then known as the Harris County Domed Stadium). The stadium was shown with four baseballs orbiting around with the team’s new name arched below in royal blue, all placed on an orange circle. In 1977, the Astros modernized this logo while retaining the same basic premise, the “Astros” typeface was significantly altered, and the angle at which the AstroDome was shown was tilted to show it more from above. It was with these logos that the Astros wore their infamous “Tequila Sunrise” (or “Rainbow Guts”) uniforms.

With the advent of digital graphic design in the early 1990s, many sports teams briefly experimented with wildly different looks. The Houston Astros were one of these teams. In 1994, the Astros ditched the orange for gold and their long-used uniform set. The new logo carried on the Astros tradition of incorporating their home stadium in their branding. It showed the AstroDome in navy blue behind the team name in white and gold italics with a gold star wrapped around the city name. This logo was simplified considerably after just one season, the AstroDome was removed, and the team name was shown in blue — the gold “shooting star” remained. The Astros would wear the navy and gold set for just six seasons, coinciding with their final season in the AstroDome in 1999.

The Astros moved out of the AstroDome and into Minute Maid Park (then known as Enron Field) in 2000 and went in yet another new direction with their logo and uniforms. The new ballpark was built near Houston’s original main train and transportation hub, Union Station. With an overall train theme in mind, the team briefly considered a name change to the Diesels or Wildcatters but ultimately decided to keep the Astros name. The logo and uniforms, on the other hand, went all-in on the old-timey train theme despite the very contradictory space-age name of the club. The colours changed to brick red, sand, and black, and the logo was simply an open-ended star presented in these colours with the club name scripted below in black. The Astros won their first pennant in this set in 2005 before the Chicago White Sox swept them in the World Series.

Houston moved to the American League in 2013 and celebrated by throwing away its entire train motif. Retro was way in in sports branding in the 2010s, and that’s what the Astros did — returning to blue and orange, bringing back the cap logo of a white H on an orange star. The jerseys were different, however, with a new “ASTROS” wordmark arched on the chest, as was the primary logo, which now focused on the cap logo, placed within a navy blue roundel circle with the club name circled above and below. The Houston Astros quickly turned things around shortly after adopting the new logo; in 2017, they returned to the World Series, where they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their first title. The Astros followed that up with unsuccessful trips to the World Series in 2019 (Washington) and 2021 (Atlanta) before returning here in 2022 against the Phillies. Welcome to the present day, time traveller; you made it back.

Houston Astros Retro Merch

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