They’re the Space Cowboys

Bet you weren’t ready for that.

You can call them the Space Cowboys.

That’s the name the Astros have picked in their rebranding of the Sugar Land Skeeters, the team’s Class AAA affiliate.

The official announcement will come on Jan. 29 at Constellation Field (no rebranding needed) but a person with knowledge of the change confirmed the new name.

The Skeeters started as an independent team in the Atlantic League in 2012 and drew its own fan base attracted to the lower prices and family atmosphere of the new stadium in Sugar Land along with the occasional celebrity sightings on the mound like Tracy McGrady or Roger Clemens.

The Skeeters went big time last year when the Astros bought the franchise and turned it into their Class AAA affiliate.

Go ahead, make your “pompatus of love” joke, get it out of your system. The Skeeters, whose name (the team has insisted) does not refer to mosquitos, have been called that since 2010. I see from that last link I had favored “Imperials” as their name, which is fine and all but seems now to lack a certain grandeur. As the story notes, there will be an event at Constellation Field to make official the re-branding. It’s a nice facility, if you feel comfortable being in a crowd right now, and I’m sure that will be fun. I don’t know if that logo I found on Twitter is for real or not – I hope it is – but I presume you’ll be able to see for yourself on the 29th. Good luck with the launch, y’all. CultureMap has more.

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7 Responses to They’re the Space Cowboys

  1. ken roberts says:


    Ugh, I say.

    I mostly object to the reminder that Steve Miller exists as does his criminal neutering of Paul Pena’s excellent “Jet Airliner,” getting a top 10 hit out of it. The only redeeming part of that is he made Pena a wad of money in royalties.

    Here is the original, for those unaware:

    I became aware of Pena’s version from the Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues.

    The doc covered Pena, who was blind since a young child, traveling to Tuva (in Siberia) to compete in a Tuvan throat-singing competition. Pena was self-taught, learning about Tuvan throat-singing by listening to a shortwave radio.

    I never went to a Skeeters game and I’m unlikely to go to one for the new team unless it’s for a charity function. The new name makes me want to go less.

  2. C.L. says:

    Let’s hope this goes the way of the ‘Houston 1836’, the original name of the local MLS soccer team.

    In my opinion, ‘rebranding’ of any sports team by changing the name, is merely a way for the entity to sell more jerseys and swag with the new name on it… That appears to be the reason the soccer team went from (Houston 1836 to) Houston Dynamo to Houston Dynamo FC…to make you forget they’re a perennial bottom of the table team for the last couple of years and to disassociate themselves from the past.

    2017 record: 13 wins – 11 draws – 10 losses
    2018 record: 10 – 8 – 16
    2019 record: 12-14-18
    2020 record: 4-9-10 (short season)
    2021 record: 6-12-16

  3. Frederick says:


    You are erroneous in your post.

    Houston 1836 was a very popular name when released. The name was not changed due to any Win-Loss record and, in fact, the team name changed before the Houston MLS team had even played one game!

    Harris County Commissioner Syliva Garcia had received some complaints from some of her Mexican-American constituents who took umbrage, mistakenly, that the name was a sleight about the War of Texas Independence.

    In the soccer word many teams’ names are based on the founding year of the city they represent. 1836 was the founding year of Houston.

    FWIW, the Space Cowboys names sucks.

  4. C.L. says:

    Fred, my point was… Calling the MLS team Houston 1836* is just as stupid as calling the AAA baseball team the Space Cowboys, but for different reasons.

    *Chosen by AEG ownership and MLS via a ‘Name the Team’ sweepstakes. Poor Oliver Luck and Sylvia Garcia had to deal with the fallout from that one.

    I proudly attended almost every home game at Robertson !

  5. Frederick says:


    That’s not what you said above. Short term memory loss?

    Alas, the Houston Earthquakes would’ve been a great soccer name and so appropriate with all our tectonic activity on the gulf coast.

    NBA Houston got lucky when the Rockets moved from San Diego and the space theme fit in pretty well with all the NASA hoopla.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    ken, thanks for the link to the Paul Pena version of “Jet Airliner.” I have never heard it before. The Steve Miller version has been a staple of “classic rock” radio, and so I never gave it much thought, other than to think that the guitar lick was a knock off of the Eric Clapton lick that he played with Cream for “Crossroads.”

    The original has a much more laid back, bluesy feel, and I like it better. Also small differences to the lyrics. Also, the “Crossroads” lick is featured less prominently.

  7. ken roberts says:

    It may not surprise you that it doesn’t take much to prompt that Paul Pena rant out of me.

    Sometimes it doesn’t get any response, but often enough people respond quite positively.

    Aside from the movie, Pena’s album New Train is well worth listening to for more blues rock. “Jet Airliner” and “Venutian Lady” are my favorite songs from it. “Gonna Move” is an excellent old school rhythm & blues track.

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