Astros Team Name Banned by Two California Little Leagues Because 'Parents Are Disgusted'

The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to three during an epic World Series in 2017. Last month, Major League baseball found the Astros guilty of electronically stealing signs during the 2017 season and banging on trash cans to alert its hitters of what pitch was coming.

Now, two Los Angeles-area Little League organizations have decided to ban Astros as one of its team names.

The leagues in Long Beach and East Fullerton, California, have decided to strip the name Astros from its lineup of teams, even when the real Astros weren't stripped of their World Series title in 2017, nor any individual awards won by its players that season.

Steve Klaus, the Long Beach Little League president, said his league informally considered dropping the name during the offseason, but more serious conversations have led to the league changing its bylaws and creating a permanent ban.

"Parents are disgusted," Klaus said in the Orange County Register, which first reported the story. "They are disgusted with the Astros and their lack of ownership and accountability. We know there's more to this scandal. What's coming tomorrow? With the Astros, you've got premeditated cheating."

The Long Beach LL has 560 players spread over 48 teams throughout its league. This would not be its first time it banned Major League Baseball mascot names, as years ago they dropped the Indians and Braves because they didn't want their child athletes to wear those team images on their uniforms.

"Our mission statement has the words 'character' and 'integrity,'" Klaus said. "It's hard to develop integrity and character when you see (cheating) at the top level."

One father said he is proud the league will ban the Astros, because otherwise it would send a signal to the kids that it's ok to cheat.

"They cheated to win the World Series, and it was a rally bad scene overall," Aaron Peterson said. "It sends the message that if you cheat, you can win. I don't know if the punishment was strong enough."

Peterson's son, 11-year-old Mick Peterson, agreed, saying "this is Dodgers country."

"I don't think it's right to represent a team that's been cheating," Mick said. "The Dodgers got robbed. It's not fair. ... This is Dodgers country."

Houston Astros and Little League
Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros, left, and Carlos Correa #1 pose with the Post Oak Little League All Stars during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on August 10, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Two Little League organizations in California—Long Beach and east Fullerton—have banned the Astros as a team name after fallout from Houston's role in a 2017 cheating scandal. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Meanwhile, East Fullerton LL president Greg Taylor said his league chose to ban Astros after feedback from parents.

"Our league received negative feedback from parents who felt Astros name was equated with impropriety," Taylor said.

That league changed its teams to Orioles and White Sox. Coincidentally, eight players from the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, and ultimately all of them were banned from baseball for life.

The Register reported that some local Little League organizations did not ban the Astros name from their league because what happens at the professional level should not work its way down to the most amateur of them.

"Our Board did not have any discussions around limiting availability of any team names outside of what was available from our uniform vendor," said Bret Varner, president of the Orangecrest Little League in Riverside. "Issues that occur at the Major League level would not have any impact on our uniform decisions. Our decisions are based upon the available options from our vendor and team interests within our local community."