NY Times: Cleveland Indians to Change Team Name
First, the 'Washington Football Team', and coming soon, the 'Cleveland Baseball Team'?
Sunday night, the New York Times scooped the sports world by reporting that Cleveland's Major League Baseball team would drop the 'Indians' name, possibly as soon as this week.
The current MLB team in Cleveland was founded as a charter team in the American League in 1901. It was originally known as the Bluebirds, renamed to Naps in 1903 (after a player- Napolean “Nap” Lajoie), before taking the Indians name in 1915. Cleveland also had a team in the National League in the late 1800's, which was folded after the 1899 season. The team was nicknamed Spiders from 1889-1899.
If Cleveland team management, and Major League Baseball, don't have an immediate replacement name ready then the team may adopt an interim name, similar to what Washington's NFL team did before the 2020 season by becoming the 'Washington Football Team', according to ESPN.
Cleveland's MLB team was front-and-center in Hollywood, and thrust into pop culture, at the end of the 1980s and into the '90s with the "Major League" film franchise. Just like real life during that time period, the movies' baseball uniforms featured the Chief Wahoo logo and Indians nickname. Fast forward over 20 years later, and the Chief Wahoo logo was removed after the 2018 season, and now the Indians name is next to go.
As of the writing of this article, Cleveland's MLB Shop webpage still featured merchandise featuring the Indians name. That could change as soon as Monday morning.
Have an opinion about the Indians nickname? Talk about it during Ryan Hyatt's Raiderland, weekdays 11am-1pm on Talk 1340 in Lubbock and ESPN 960 in San Angelo.
Bonus video: The trailer for "Major League II":