WARNING: This post is earnest and unfunny. Proceed with caution.
Last night the Astros unveiled the first of their series of throwback uniforms celebrating the franchise’s 50th anniversary. After a minor kerfuffle over the use of a firearm in the logo, they look the field with guns blazin’. I don’t care much for weaponry myself (bad Texan, I know), but the sight of my favorite team in these beautiful retro uniforms was enough to put me on the edge of the kind of happy tears I normally reserve for sloths and compliments on my hair.
photo via @MLB
The love of a good looking uniform is very, well, unifying in the baseball community. While twitter was all divided and catty about Ozzie Guillen’s suspension, something like the sight of Jose Altuve (my favorite active Astro right now, for what that’s worth) wearing stirrups is pretty much undeniably a good baseball feeling, uncomplicated by messy things like racial politics and language divides. I like talking about those things as well, but for me baseball’s most important role in my life is as a provider of joy. And man, these uniforms? Joy squared.
photo via alyson footer
I took a picture of my TV.
One of the many pleasures of loving a terrible team is finding little things to be excited about. When I went to the Astros home opener last week, I delighted in the fact that Travis Wood was batting to a Kanye West and Jay-Z song, that the team brought out my 13-year-old-self’s country music crush Clay Walker to sing the anthem, that I got to buy this awesome shooting star era tee, in Carlos Lee and Brian Bogusevic’s back-to-back home runs, Altuve’s excellent play at second base, and that Minute Maid park is actually very pretty when the roof is down and the weather is bearable. After seeing the Colt .45s jerseys tonight, I felt a genuine sense of pride about my team that obviously has nothing to do with them being good. The Houston Astros will certainly be losers this year, but they are my losers and I love them.
I think (or at least hope) that what binds together us baseball people — young and old, jocks and nerds, Houston Astros fans and New York Yankees fans — is recognizing and valuing beauty. On any given day one might find that beauty in a curve ball, a minor leaguer slash poet, a set of numbers, a swing, a scoresheet, a baseball card, or a pretty uniform. Whenever I find it, I am happily reminded that “baseball” is not so much one singular thing as my way of looking at almost everything; that it is part of me and I am part of it; that it is about more than being the best and that it is sometimes even about being the worst, but with grace.
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