Astros remove gun from Colt .45s throwback uniforms

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The Astros are celebrating their 50th anniversary this season, so they plan to honor their past by wearing a different throwback uniform at every Friday home game. The first “Flashback Friday” will feature the Colt .45s, which was the name of the franchise for the first three years of its existence.

Sweet. Those were some pretty awesome uniforms. The only problem is, MLB nixed including the gun in the logo.

According to Paul Lukas of the Uni Watch blog, Astros fan James Crabtree wrote a letter to commissioner Bud Selig about the issue and this is the response he got from Mike Acosta, the Astros’ authentication manager:

“During our discussion with Major League Baseball, it was expressed to us that we could wear the uniform as long as the pistol was removed. We realize this changes the original design, but we still want to honor the Colt .45s. We are also under an obligation to follow Major League Baseball’s requests.”

Oof. The weird thing about this is that when the Astros originally announced plans for “Flashback Friday” last September, they had the old Colt .45s uni featured front and center. Apparently something changed over the past few months.

There was some discussion about whether the Colt .45s was appropriate back when new Astros owner Jim Crane mentioned that they had considered changing the team’s name. The world is a very different place now than it was when the franchise debuted in 1962, so obviously the same name and logo wouldn’t work today, but completely altering the design for one game is a bit overboard.

Video: Justin Verlander reaches career mark with 270th strikeout

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Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.

Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.

Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.

After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.