Holy Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Joe Niekro, Batman!

The Houston Astros, a staple of Major League Baseball for the past 46 years, could be going the way of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, New York Gothams and Seattle Pilots.

Owner Jim Crane is considering radical changes to his floundering franchise. The Houston Chronicle reports "branding changes" are being considered that could include the changing of their Astros nickname. Crane, chairman of Crane Capital Group, took over as owner in November of 2011 after paying a reported $880 million to buy the team.

Originally Crane told reporters he wasn't planning any adjustments, but after chatting with unhappy season-ticket buyers, he's changed his tune.

Houston's Major League franchise debuted as the Colt .45's in 1962, a tribute to the legendary Colt firearms company. The ball club used a Colt .45s logo, but the media often refereed to it under the moniker "Colts," a description that also extends to young horses and circumvented legal issues from the Colts Firearms Company that eventually led to the nickname change in 1965.

Any changes to the nickname or uniforms are expected to go along with Major League Baseball's plans to shift the franchise over to the American League western division for the start of the 2013 season.

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In addition to a possible name change, Houston has done an about-face, ending its policy of blocking fans from bringing food and water into home games at Minute Maid Park. On top of that, some ticket prices have been lowered.

The Astros franchise has a lifetime .495 winning percentage, with nine playoff births and one pennant (2005) during the past 49 seasons.

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