Lukas: The exclusive, untold story behind the Astros’ rainbow uniforms

From SABR member Paul Lukas at on August 2, 2017:

Some stories are worth the wait — even if the wait takes more than 40 years.

Case in point: The Houston Astros’ famous rainbow uniform debuted in 1975. In a recent Uni Watch column that listed 10 things you might not know about that uniform, we mentioned that the uni was designed by the Houston-based ad agency McCann Erickson but lamented that neither the Astros nor McCann had saved any of their original files from the project. Nobody even knew who had worked on the design, or if those people were still alive. Sportswriters didn’t give much coverage to uniforms in those days, so newspaper archives didn’t offer much help either. It seemed like the story behind the creation of this uniform — arguably the most radical design in MLB history — might go untold.

Fortunately, that column caught the eye of reader Derek Rollins, whose father, Gary Rollins, worked for the Astros in the mid-1970s and, as it turns out, was the team’s point person on the rainbow-uniform project. An interview with Rollins in turn led to contact with several people from McCann Erickson’s design team, and soon the story began to fall into place.

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Originally published: August 3, 2017. Last Updated: August 3, 2017.