Lukas: All the colors and facts of the Houston Astros’ rainbow

From SABR member Paul Lukas at on June 29, 2017:

The Houston Astros wore their 1970s rainbow throwbacks last weekend. As usual, this made for a lot of happy people, because everyone loves the rainbow uniforms — not just Astros fans, but pretty much all baseball fans. It’s one of those rare things that everybody can agree on.

The rainbow uniform was introduced in 1975. It was a radical design for its time — nothing remotely like it had ever appeared on a baseball diamond. It was also the perfect embodiment of MLB’s Technicolor era, as a variety of factors (new fabrics, new tailoring concepts, the rise of color television, the loosening of longstanding cultural dress codes) helped to reshape the idea of what a baseball uniform could be.

The Astros wore the rainbows through 1986. More than three decades later, the rainbow design is now entrenched as part of MLB’s visual bedrock (the Astros have worn it as a throwback at least nine times since 1999). While time may have made this uniform more familiar, it hasn’t softened its audacity.

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Originally published: July 2, 2017. Last Updated: July 2, 2017.