Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When is a Ball(s)game Not a Ball(s)game?

When the MLB takes it upon themselves to neuter the uniforms.

As part of a tribute to 50 years of the Houston Astros, the team will be wearing throwback jerseys from different eras during the 2012 season. Of course, the Astros haven't always been the Astros. They were once the Colt .45s, and as such, their first uniforms had a distinct logo on the front: a pistol with the smoke from the barrel forming the "C" of Colts.

Of course, the PC world in which we all live now simply cannot tolerate a (*GASP*) gun on a baseball uniform. Thus, we will see a "new" old jersey sans the offending firearm. There are two excellent blogs concerning this unpopular decision (fully 97% of people surveyed disagree with the MLB): here and here. As one poster noted: “Astros get shafted again. What else is new? Why are we the whipping boy for Selig & MLB.”

I'm a bit too young to remember the Colt .45s unis, but they are legendary, of course. The .45s changed their name due in part to a dispute with the Colt firearms manufacturing company, and in part to honor the newly built Astrodome in 1964. I best remember the colorful "rainbow" uniforms of the 1970s that echoed the colors of the seats in the Astrodome.

There is a more in-depth look at the Astros uniforms here. Those unis and seats are likely the reason I am so fond of oranges and reds to this day.

Speaking of the Dome, well, that would be a whole other blog. But I have a few videos here to share that are but small snippets of my life:

There are so many wonderful moments I have witnessed in the Dome: Oilers, Astros, demolition derbies, Glen Campbell, the Highwaymen, Evel Knievel. And that scoreboard. That wonderful scoreboard that may be imitated but never duplicated.

While I'm remiscing about Houston sports, allow me one final indulgence here:

Friday nights weren't Friday nights without Houston Wrestling at the Sam Houston Coliseum. Of course, that's back when names of venues meant something, paid tribute to individuals. Jeppesen Stadium. Hofheinz Pavilion. Rice Stadium.

Times change. Arenas are now named for the corporations that foot the bill. Texans (not Oilers) games are played in a stadium named for an energy company, not for a futuristic concept borne of Houston's space industry. The Rockets (they haven't changed their name, at least not yet) now play in Toyota Center because their old digs now belong to a Megachurch with more money than piety. The Astros (not the Colt .45s) now play in their own "Juice Box" (once named Enron Field) in uniforms that have lost their meaning and history because the MLB has deemed the populace too weak to handle a pistol on a baseball uniform. It seems that sports has lost its balls somehow. And the removal of a firearm from a uniform is only the beginning.


Legion said...

Old cauliflower eared Paul Bosch on Friday night wrestling, he was a character.

Since channel 39 was one of the 3, I think, channels available on the tele-tenna cable back then, I always watched it.

Wahoo McDaniels, Scott Casey, Prince Von Eric, The Sheik, Mel Masscaro and what was that referees name? Bulldog something,(also with cauliflower ears), he did as much wrestling as the wrestlers.

Like I said before about the Astros, after the upcoming season, there will be no chance of a all Texas World Series... that's sad.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Legion - are you thinking of Bull Curry? I believe that was his name.

Yes! When we couldn't be there in the Coliseum live, we would watch it on Channel 39. My best friend and I at the time were HUGE Houston Wrestling fans. Loved Paul Bosch (who didn't). I remember the ones you mention, and Dusty Rhodes ("The American Dream"), Gino Hernandez, Tiger Conway, the VonErich brothers, their father Fritz, Cyclone Anaya(who had the best Mexican restaurant in Houston) I think we even saw Andre the Giant a couple times.

I had a big crush on Gino Hernandez for a while there. HE was the main attraction for me, for sure. Ah...good memories. And, yeah, a shame about the Astros switching leagues. At least I hope they have better luck this season.

Von Prien said...

Great Post,

Funny I mistook Paul Bosch for Dick Gottlieb. Growing up three miles from the Harris County Domed Stadium it was not uncommon for me to see Loel Passe at Weingartens.

Seen some great games there. Mickey Mantle hit the first home run in the dome, didn't see that but I went to hundreds of games at the dome. Doug Rader, Dennis Menke, Tommy Helms, Jimmy Wynn, Cesar Cedeno, J.R. Richards, Nolan Ryan, Norm Miller, Ray Knoublauch from the Colt 45's was My High School's baseball coach, though I played basketball, and track.

What was that Karate chop wrestler, Tora Tanake, I probably mispelled it but a lot of the wrestlers use to frolic at the White House Hotel were we swam in the summers and the Shamrock Hilton. Seems there was a Johhny Valentine Wrestler too.

But i will never forget, or forgive Brocklander's call at first base in the playoffs against the Mets.

That bonehead ump even agreed with his call after seeing it on instant replay days later.

Scott, Smith, Ryan, and I think Bob Knepper were the Astros pitchers.

Never will Forget Charlie Kerfeld's behind the back catch on the mound.

But the best memory of the dome was I believe in the late seventies, they had a little thing called foamers in the Dome. Well things were a little lax as far as minors drinking at the games. I believe I was seventeen, but well equipped with a fake ID. Back then 18 was the drinking age.

Well foamers worked liked this, somewhere around the seventh inning or so there was a red light under the clock at the Dome, and it was on on even or odd minutes, I don't remember. But if an Astro hit a homer while the light was on it was free beer for the rest of the game.

Well there I was, and there was good old Lee May at bat, and the light was on. Lee May hit a towering blast and ID in hand me and some friends stood in the beer line till the bottom of the ninth.

Parents weren't to pleased either. Foamers didn't last long at the dome. But man those were some great times at the dome . . . .

Lotta nice memories Sugar,

Thank you.

Legion said...

Prince Von Eric +h, that's who I meant as the daddy, fritz, the iron claw guy.

That might have been the referees name. They use to come to Victoria and wrestle in the rodeo arena part of the community center, anyway that old ref stood out the time I went.

I must have been 11 or so, anyway, someone threw a big chunk of ice at the ring, it hit the ref square in the forehead. He took a half step back and continued to watch the wrestlers, I think one of Wahoos matches, and all the while he was doing some serious bleeding. He didn't even bother to try and wipe it off his face.

Legion said...

Since you brought it up Von Prien, beer drinking at the Dome that is, the Pabst Blue Ribbon is one thing I do not miss!

Geez, the last Oiler game I went to I had a hard time drinking half the beer I bought.

I don't mean the Pabst normally tastes bad, but every other one I bought was, take your pick of terms, either green or skunky, tasting. They must have had some left over kegs from the week before and Bud was to cheap to replace them! lol

Sugar Magnolia said...

Thanx, Mr. VonPrien, for your memories too. Weingarten's, Cedeno, Nolan Ryan, my favorite was Jose Cruuuuuuuzzzz....I don't really remember the White House hotel or the Shamrock Hilton, although I'm sure I saw them in passing. And as far as foamers, I don't recall them either, although there was no way I could pull off being 18 quite yet at that time. But, yeah, 18 was the drinking age when I turned 18 in May 1985, and in August of that year, it went up to 21! I thought that was rather rude.

It actually took me several hours (no joke) to complete this blog post because of the memories and the emotions. Anger, sadness, I actually get misty-eyed about the dome, and then when I was on YouTube, there was a video about Astroworld. Curious as I was, I simply could not bring myself to watch it. I don't know if I ever can, but it's alright because I have every detail about that place in my head, the layout, the rides, the shops. For someone who had season passes nearly every summer, that was like my second home, when I had more time than I do now. I can walk the park in my mind and remember the clack-clack and creaks of the Texas Cyclone, the exact movements of Greezed Lightnin', the sound of the antique cars, the skeeball arcade.

I'll quit now or drive myself into a blue funk for the rest of the weekend. So many memories, such wonderful times. At least they can't take that from us, Mr. VonPrien.

Pilot said...

I'll not address the theatrical "sport" of wrestling(I plan to soend next weekend at a high school real wrestling tournament in Austin).
As for the Astros/Colts, I am very distraught about the switch to the AL, I will in time(what's left for me) learn to cope I suppose. Meanwhile, I will continue to suffer the indignities heaped upon fans in an intermediate market for professional sports. I think Bud Adams should be publicly lynched. I think Dierker or Scrap Iron Garner should still be calling the shots for the 'Stros. Un friggin fortunately, the front orifice, failed to check with us who actually buy tickets, before they bent us over. Who says it's only a game? The bastarde to whom it's actually a bottom line and a business!

Pilot said...

I apologize for the spelling/typos. I will blame that on the braille keyboard and the lack of lighting,okay, and to the vino.......

Sugar Magnolia said...

Hey, Pilot, typos and all, I get what you mean. I was fortunate enough in the seventies to be a wrestling fan before it became so theatrical. The only costume worn was a headdress by Wahoo McDaniel, and, oh lord, those shiny gold trunks Dusty "The American Dream" Rhodes wore to show off his.....

Looking back, maybe they should have dressed more, costumes or whatever. Yeesh. But, no makeup, maybe rarely a mask, but that was it. The most "fake" they got was going out into the audience to grab one of those folding metal chairs to "bust" their opponent over the head with it. Houston wrestling was basic and simple. We had not yet heard of the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, etc. I don't care for that "glam" wrestling at all. No, in Houston, it was all quite unpretentious and just fun, sitting in the old Coliseum with a coke and peanuts. Good, good times.

Yeah, if you catch this blog on the Avocado, Riverboat is calling for Adams' head, as well as that of Selig and Jerry Jones, the three he places at the lower levels of Dante's Inferno. THAT cracked me up. I too think they all need to be ridden out on a rail. I found on the MLB site an address for Selig, and it just so happens to be on Fifth Avenue,
31st floor. No suite, no office number. So I assume in this fancy high-rise, his office IS the entire 31st floor. La-de-FRICKIN-da. I shouldn't be surprised.

Enjoyin' that view from your ankles. I'm not. It just reminds me I should moisturize more often. Oh, and that I HATE Selig and his minions!

Sugar Magnolia said...

Um....I mean moisturize my ANKLES...