Sunday night, it was officially announced that the Cleveland Indians will be changing their team nickname. The news was first reported by Michael Schmidt of the New York Times. It was later confirmed by Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Sources confirm the @nytmike and @DavidWaldstein report that the Cleveland Indians will be dropping their nickname. While it's unclear what they will replace it with, the Indians — who have been called that for more than a century and nearly 17,000 games — will be no more.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 14, 2020
Given that the team will be changing their nickname, it will be the first time in 105 years such an event has happened for the franchise. After being called the Cleveland Naps from 1903 until 1914, the franchise adopted the Cleveland Indians for the 1915 season. Since that time, the team has amassed an 8452-8030 record and clinched 15 postseason berths while appearing in six World Series, winning it in 1920 and 1948.
Back in July, the team announced that they would begin the process of listening to suggestions for a new team name. At this point, it is unknown what that name will become. Furthermore, it is unknown what steps the team will take in the suggestion process in the coming weeks.
Reason Behind the Team Name
The primary reasoning behind the name change is in an effort to pay respects to the Native American community. The organization wants to show the rest of the industry that they embrace diversity and are willing to transform with the current times. It is a very challenging task, especially for a franchise that has an engrained history like they have.
Furthermore, this follows the decision by the Indians from the 2019 season to officially abandon the Chief Wahoo logo. That was replaced by the Block C logo, which has appeared on the team’s uniforms and hats ever since.
Regardless of what the team name is moving forward, one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that the Cleveland Indians name is now history. The franchise is taking a drastic step forward and altering the outlook of their organization forever.
Now the focus turns to the those who will help the franchise identify its next team name. The process will likely carry on for some more time before an official announcement is made public.
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