Dear Amateur Astros,

May 16, 1992

I have been procrastinating too many years. I am finally writingyour semi-pro organization in reference to your baseball raiment whichhas been the raucous subject of ridicule ever since you were mercifullyadmitted to the National League. Thank goodness you finally abandonedthe rainbow motif. What a laugher that was.

But, you’re still way out of your league. I frequent California, andyour ears would burn hearing the desultory diatribes hurled by the localannouncers (Jerry Coleman, SD; Vince Scully, LA; Hank Greenwall, SF),directed at the laughable attire of your goodie-white-two-shoes ball-players. Ever taken time to notice how professional-looking the Giantsare? Let’s start from the ground up, O.K.? Black spikes have been thenorm for 125 years. You’re not competing with the NFL anymore, likeback in the ’70s. How can a ball be proved it was foul tipped off thebatter’s foot if the freakin’ shoe is white? By the way, I’ve writtenthe Oakland ballclub, too. But let’s get to the rest of your attire.Just do away with the stripes on the shoulders and sides, delete theplayer’s name on the back (like the Yankees and Red Sox), inscribeASTROS in a nice black script on the home uniforms, and pull up thebottom of the pant legs so the stirrups show. And about your roadgear…they look like they’ve been washed in dirt-yellow dye. I can’tdecipher if they’re home or road uniforms. They need to be a nicesoft gray. And why are you ashamed of putting the letters HOUSTON onthe road uniforms? Come on, get with it ‘stros. Even the Expos havechanged their image.

And speaking of being out of sync, your dome and concrete playingsurface are doomed for destruction. Yes, Judge Roy Hofheinz, your ideaof playing baseball in a hermetically sealed stadium is a dinosaur, justripe for the Smithsonian. I predict that by the turn of the century,your Astrodome will be extinct, trust me.

I am a purist. I can’t ask you to rip off the dome. All that I’masking is you put a team on the field that represents a professional-looking team. I’ve been a baseball fan since 1949, when the DallasEagles battled the Houston Buffaloes for the Texas League title…and then took on a team named the Atlanta Crackers for the SouthernChampionship. Those guys looked like real ballplayers. I have a feel­ing that whoever reads that last tidbit of trivia is too young toappreciate it. Too bad.

Waiting on tenterhooks,

William C. Early