Paul introduced the contest with headline that read something like "I'm expecting to see a lot of orange," a reference to the fact that a few of the early Astros uniforms made the most prominent use of the color orange in the history of the major leagues and many of us traditionalists have been agitating for the team to return to that old orange-and-navy blue color scheme and ditch the current drab, trendy black and brick red. And somehow, Paul's headline immediately brought to mind a uniform with orange cap, undersleeves and socks combined with a pale orange road uniform. I KNEW this would not be a popular choice within the Uniwatch community, but what can I say? It was a moment of artistic inspiration and I just felt like I had to go with that inspiration.
I spent a couple minutes during that work day sketching out ideas, including the "H" and "A" emblems that used the "Saturn" rings to form the "crossbar" of those letters, something that felt to me like it had the '60s "sci-fi" feel that I've always associated with a team that took on the Astros nickname in 1965. I also wanted some kind of fun cartoony mascot for the sleeve and sketched out the spaceman wearing an Astros cap on his bubble helmet.
My ancient baseball-uniform template, which I drew in the mid 1980s, always gives me the chance to throw in an idea for an opposing team, so for the visiting team player in the lower right corner I adapted a uniform I made up at about the age of 9 or 10 for a team in my fictitious world called the Dugland Dragons, which were yellow with green trim. I adapted it to the Milwaukee Brewers and made it yellow with blue trim. (The pale orange road uniform is also something I tried as a kid on one of my fictitious teams, the Miami Owls, who had a Baltimore Orioles-inspired black-and-orange uniform. I didn't like the pale orange on that team but ended up really liking it on this Astros design.)
I briefly considered going with traditional gray or possibly light blue for the road uniform instead of the pale orange but stuck to my guns, figuring it's pretty easy to imagine what those other colors would look like but nobody could or would be able to imagine this color scheme unless I took the artistic leap and submitted it. I'm also a bit of crusader for both the return of bolder colors to sports uniforms in general and in particular the return of "monochrome" road uniforms such as the light-blue uniforms many teams wore in the 1970s and 80s, the yellow road uniforms of the Oakland A's of the 1960s and San Diego Padres of the 1970s and especially the navy blue road uniforms of Bill Veeck's Chicago White Sox of the late 1970s (as opposed to the single thing I hate to see most in a baseball uniform, the "softball top" look of a dark jersey and light-colored pants).
Paul said he got close to 100 entries for the Astros contest and he named five winners and to my amazement, my entry made that top 5. Paul was clear that he did not like the pale orange road uniform and aloso felt the overall presentation was out of date (can't disagree), but he complimented the jersey wordmarks and cap emblem.
I guess I've submitted now to five Uniwatch contests and ended up in the pack in two of them, made the top 10 out of 35 in the Seattle Seahawks contest and made "honorable mention" in the New Orleans Hornets contest, so this is certainly my biggest success in those contests to date.
Many thanks to Paul and the whole Uniwatch community for conducting these contests and providing supportive and useful feedback.