This is the second in a series of articles describing the various uniforms of the Houston Astros, the performance of the team during each uniform era, and the best individual performers in each uniform. It was originally published by SB Nation in 2013 and written by Cliff Corcoran.
Shooting star: 1965-1970
In 1965, the Houston ballclub moved into the world’s first domed sports stadium and renamed itself the Astros — after the burgeoning space program, which had launched the first manned Gemini flight just weeks before the opening of the Astrodome. To reflect the change, a white H on an orange star replaced the “.45s” on their navy caps, and a shooting-star graphic (navy star, three orange motion lines) over the word Astros (in navy outlined in orange) replaced the smoking gun on their home jerseys. The road jerseys remained the same save for the new Astros logo replacing the Texas state flag on the left sleeve and navy stirrups with an orange star on the calf replacing the Colts’ orange stirrups with white and navy stripes on the calf both home and away.
These were, in my opinion, the most elegant uniforms in Astros history, and they adorned the first true stars in Astros history: future Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, right fielder Rusty Staub, and five-tool center fielder Jimmy Wynn, a.k.a. “The Toy Cannon.” Wynn compiled a team-best 32.3 bWAR in this uniform, twice turning in seven-win seasons (in 1965 and 1969), though the best single-season performance in this uni belonged to 22-year-old righty Larry Dierker, who went 20-13 with a 2.33 ERA (152 ERA+) in 305 1/3 innings in 1969, the first year that the Astros did not suffer a losing record (they went 81-81 in the newly-created National League West). Dierker’s performance was worth 8.5 wins above replacement and remains the greatest pitching season in Astros history by that measure.