Cleveland Indians
(John G Mabanglo/EPA)

Cleveland Indians Begin Name Change

The Cleveland Indians are beginning to narrow down a list of potential new team names after months of research and discussions with their fans.

The team made an announcement in December that they would begin the process of adopting a new team name. In February team executives began meeting with fans. After meeting with community leaders, local influencers, and staff members, they conjured up nearly 1,200 potential new names.

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What’s Next for Cleveland?

After further discussion, the Indians narrowed down the list to use only the best choices.

“We’ve engaged our fans and community on many aspects of our team name process,” said Curtis Danburg, the team’s Vice President of communications and community impact. “We felt it was important to share our research journey and what we’ve learned so far.”

The name change has of course sparked discussion amongst fans. Some are open to changing it, and some want it to remain the same. The most popular names discussed on social media are the Spiders, Guardians, and Avengers.

The Cleveland…?

Now, I wish I had the list of the 1,200 names they discussed. I guarantee there are multiple better options than the ‘Avengers’ or ‘Guardians’. In my opinion, I think they choose to become the Cleveland Spiders. The Cleveland Spiders were an American pro baseball team based in Cleveland and competed in the major leagues from 1887 to 1889, I think this is the simplest route for them. A unique name that has not been used since then, while also paying homage to the history of baseball in Cleveland? It makes the most sense as of now.

Once the club has it’s final choices, they will most likely release logos and potential jerseys. Owner Paul Dolan said in December that the new name will have no Native American relation.

Cleveland Not the First, May Not Be The Last

There are a handful of professional sports teams that are named after Native American themes and connotations. The Washington Football team was the first team to make a change. After choosing arguably the blandest name possible, a new one could be adopted by 2022.

The Kansas City Chiefs have also received backlash due to their name, but it does not seem that a change is imminent anytime soon. The Chicago Blackhawks, and the Florida State Seminoles are two other teams whose mascots and names correlate with Native American history.

It will be intriguing to see what Dolan and other executives choose to go with as the team’s new name. Cleveland is certainly adamant and persistent about this, and a change before next season is certainly tangible.

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