x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

'Rainbow guts' spilt their name across US

True colours: The phrase 'rainbow guts' sounds rather unappetising, but this was the moniker applied to the kit worn by the Houston Astros over a 13-year period.

The Houston Astros have had a colourful history.
The Houston Astros have had a colourful history.

The phrase 'rainbow guts' sounds rather unappetising, but this was the moniker applied to the kit worn by the Houston Astros baseball team over a 13-year period. The red, orange and yellow panels that dominated the original shirt design were the last thing on anybody's mind back in 1975 after star pitcher Don Wilson committed suicide. It was a tragedy that the Astros did not recover from and their jerseys proved to be an inconsequential bright spot in a season in which they lost a club-worst 97 games.

Better times were to follow. The Astros won three division titles and, powered by the arm of the legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan, twice made it to the National League Championship Series, before falling one step short of reaching the World Series in 1980 and 1986. The kit had helped put the team in the national spotlight, but it was Ryan who kept them there. In 1987, Houston dispensed of the 'rainbow guts', although they kept the colours on the shoulders until 1993. Thankfully the original design lives on. The Astros revert back to the uniform for one-off 'throwback' games, while the likes of OutKast and Nelly have worn the jersey it in their music videos.

And, perhaps most importantly, 'rainbow guts' has also gone down in the annuls of film history thanks to the Astros' guest appearance in the 1977 film The Bad News Bears in 'Breaking Training'. - Alex Kunawicz