Crane says uniform change likely

Astros owner Jim Crane, who talked to the team prior to its first full-squad workout on Sunday morning at Osceola County Stadium, told reporters he’s leaning heavily towards an overhaul of the team’s uniforms in conjunction with the move to the American League in 2013.

Major League Baseball has been working with the Astros on a new uniform design, and Crane said he wants to get his staff and some of the fans involved in helping with the design. Crane said the team has to have everything submitted to baseball by May 1, but nothing will be made public until after the season.

“We can’t really come out with a uniform until the season is over,” Crane said. “All that – the branding and the logo – has to be submitted, and once we get all that through them we’ll follow the guidelines and rules. You probably won’t see anything until after the season.”

The Astros, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, haven’t had a major uniform overhaul since moving to what is now Minute Maid Park in 2000. The Astros will switch to the AL next year, which Crane says will make good timing for a uniform switch.

“Our feel on it is this is going to be a great year with the transition, and we’re going to have a lot of fun seeing some of the old team and some of the new teams again,” Crane said. “We’ll be the only team you can see every team in baseball the next two years. If change is going to be made, certainly next year, going to the American League, is going to be our transition, and we’re leaning heavily that way.”

Meanwhile, all 63 players hit the field Sunday under light drizzle and chilly temperatures. Today is the first day of live batting practice, and undoubtedly the hitters will be far behind the pitchers, who have been in camp for a week. Here are some morning photos:

Astros owner Jim Crane talks with reporters.

Carlos Lee hits the field for the first time.

Here's our first look of top prospect Jonathan Singleton in an Astros uniform.

Here's Jose Altuve, by request.

Jim Crane walks with minority owner Bill Morgan.

Brad Mills throws a ball during fielding drills.

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