The Jackson Generals of Jackson, Mississippi, was a team identity that existed in the Texas League for nine seasons. For that entire span, they served as the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Following the 1990 season, the New York Mets broke their affiliation with the Texas League’s Jackson Mets in favor the Eastern League club that would become the in-state Binghamtom Mets. The Jackson franchise was lucky to land with regional parent club in the Houston Astros. Rather than taking on Houston’s branding, they opted to follow the lead of an increasing number of minor league teams by taking on a unique identity in the 1990s.
Even though it was unique, it was a fairly conservative brand. Jackson adopted the Generals moniker and established an aesthetic that sustained through their entire existence. Team colors were royal blue, red, and gold. Their cap logo was a red J surrounded by a ring of gold stars indicating a 5-star general. Uniforms were fairly tame for the nineties, with a diagonal-slanting wordmark across the chest, with a row of five stars underlining the letters.
The nine seasons that Jackson spent with the Astros produced a very solid list of Generals alums, including MLB All-Stars like Todd Jones, Shane Reynolds, Bobby Abreu, Melvin Mora, Billy Wagner, Carlos Guillén, Lance Berkman, and Freddy García.
The end of the Generals came in the late nineties, when a recently-retired Nolan Ryan bought the franchise. Following the 1999 season, he relocated the team to Round Rock, Texas and gave them a nickname based on his own nickname from his playing days. The first iteration of the Round Rock Express played in the Texas League through the 2004 season, when Ryan bought the Pacific Coast League’s Edmonton Trappers and moved them to Round Rock. The Express were a multi-level mover, and they still play in the PCL. That same year, the Texas League franchise was moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. The Corpus Christi Hooks are the Double-A affiliate of the Astros to this day.
Post-script: About ten years after the Jackson Generals moved to Corpus Christi, the Double-A Southern League’s West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (of Jackson, Tennessee) shockingly changed their name to the Jackson Generals. Outside of inner-circle minor league geeks, this is a little-known quirky anomaly–a rare occurrence of “same name, different city.” The effect reached a satisfying culmination in the 2019 season, in a face-off of two Southern League clubs–the Jackson (TN) Generals and the Mississippi Braves. You see, in 2005, the Atlanta Braves moved their Liberty Media-owned Greenville Braves to Pearl, Mississippi, a suburb of Jackson. In that 2019 game, the M-Braves wore Jackson Generals (Texas League version) throwbacks as they squared off in a game against the Jackson Generals of Tennessee. So, we had a game of Jackson Generals vs. Jackson Generals. That’s good stuff, my friends.