Just like the Washington Football Team, the Cleveland Indians have reportedly decided on a new name. They just aren’t telling anybody what it is.
Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com reports that the Cleveland organization has settled on a replacement for their “Indians” moniker, which has triggered debates for years, but has yet to decide when to announce it, or even when they will announce when they will announce it.
A source reportedly declined to confirm or deny when asked if an announcement was imminent.
The development comes seven months after club owner Paul Dolan said he would be changing the name amid mounting social pressure after Washington dropped its own insensitive Native American nickname. Dolan said the “Indians” name would remain for the 2021 season, with plans to phase it out for 2022.
Per Hoynes, those 2022 plans were more of a goal than a promise, but Dolan also reportedly said the change would wait until 2023 if the club didn’t have a name settled by midseason, which it now appears to have done.
Washington Football Team in similar situation
Cleveland’s name change has closely followed in the footsteps of the NFL’s own long-awaited swap, and the two transitions appear pretty much in lockstep at this point.
Washington team president Jason Wright told The Washington Post earlier this month that the team would unveil its new name and logo in early 2022. Like Cleveland, Washington has been sorting through potential nicknames since announcing its plans, with no shortage of candidates.
What will be the new Cleveland team name?
As far as finding a new name, Cleveland has more than a century of baseball history to draw on, as well as the city’s own history and architecture.
Many have been partial to the Cleveland Spiders, the name of the current Indians’ major league predecessor in the city. That team’s infamously futile performance on the field — the team ended its run with a 20-134 season, still the worst season in MLB history — may be a drawback, though.
The Cleveland Guardians, inspired by the sculptures on the city’s Hope Memorial Bridge has also gained some steam, while homages to its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (the Rockers) and its most enduring Negro League team (the Buckeyes, though a certain college program may have an issue with that) have also done well in fan polls.
And then, of course, there’s the possibility of the Cleveland Baseball Team.
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