Astros owner Jim Crane opposes the removal of the pistol from the Colt .45s throwbacks

Big League Stew

For the most part, it's been a great offseason for uniform news. The Blue Jays have gone retro, the Braves have a cool cream alternate and Baltimore's cartoon bird is back where it belongs. We're even excited about the red that the White Sox will wear.

The one big downer, though, came in last month's news that the Houston Astros must remove the pistol from their Colt .45s throwback jerseys as they plan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Even though it's just for two games, Major League Baseball decided that one measly gun was too much and that the 'Stros had to surrender the piece. Thus the uniforms from the franchise's first three years won't be armed — or accurate.

It was a decision that we didn't agree with and we weren't alone. A Marine captain from Leander, Texas, named James Crabtree sent a letter to new Astros owner Jim Crane saying that the kowtowing to political correctness was the final straw in a long series of missteps and that he couldn't be an Astros fan any longer.

What he received back from Crane was a sympathetic message. The owner who agreed to move the Astros into the AL as a condition of his purchase of the team didn't like this particular case of messing with Texas tradition either.

Wrote Crane:

Thank you for your comments concerning the Colt .45s jersey. I would like to say up front that I agree with you. Unfortunately, MLB has made this a requirement and their decisions are out of our control.

The team plans to wear the gun-less uniforms on April 10 and 20. It'd be kind of cool if the team ignored the league's instructions and came out in the original uniforms in a show of Lone Star stubbornness.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like that's going to happen.

Here's Crane's letter to Crabtree in its entirety:

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