HOUSTON — The city of Houston has a few nicknames, most of which are attributed to either its rich sports history or, as home to NASA, its connection to the space industry. There’s “Bayou City,” “H-town,” “Hustle Town,” “Clutch City” and “Crush City.”
But one stands above all, and it will soon be splashed across the chests of Astros players: “Space City.”
The Astros revealed their Nike City Connect uniforms on Sunday, paying tribute to Houston’s contributions to space travel. “Space City” is stenciled broadly across the chest in space-inspired lettering, while the grid pattern on the sleeves emulates the star charts that helped guide countless missions through the cosmos.
The Astros will wear the uniforms for the first time on April 20, when they host the Angels at Minute Maid Park.
“Our City Connect uniform links the past and the present, making the old new, with a nod to our city’s great history of space travel,” said Anita Sehgal, the Astros’ senior vice president of communications and marketing. “The Astros retro elements with a forward-thinking approach matches the constant pursuit of new opportunities and extraordinary wins that represent the great city of Houston.
“This uniform is a thank you to our fans for their relentless support to the Astros and to growing our great community. We don’t see this as just a uniform, but as a movement for our city and we are excited to share it today.”
There is a whiff of familiarity with these new-age uniforms, too. Lifelong Astros fans may appreciate the uniform’s rainbow socks, an homage to the Astros’ iconic rainbow uniforms of the 1970s.
The pants, hat and socks all continue the theme of Space City, connecting Houston’s history and retro elements of Astros uniforms of the ’70s and the 21st century. That includes the unconventional placement of each player’s number on their right pant leg, another gesture to bring those iconic uniforms into the modern era.
The sleeve will feature a mission patch that includes Houston’s four area codes, surrounding the Astros’ take on the Texas state flag.
After they wear the uniforms for the first time on April 20, the Astros will wear them on Monday home games throughout the season. City Connect merchandise will be available from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday in the Astros’ team store.
Launched last season, the Nike MLB City Connect program was created to celebrate the bond between each club and its city. This uniform series explores the personality, values and customs that make each community and its residents unique.
Nike and MLB clubs partnered to design jerseys inspired by home cities to celebrate new baseball traditions and invite more fans into the game of baseball. The Astros join the Nationals as the two teams to have already launched their 2022 City Connect uniforms.