Cleveland Indians Name Change: History of Franchise Nickname, Chief Wahoo Logo, and Call for a Change

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball franchise will certainly quickly have a brand-new nickname. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the team will certainly relocate far from the nickname “Indians,” which they have actually been utilizing for greater than 100 years. An main statement is anticipated soon and a brand-new nickname will certainly be launched in2022 The team has actually not yet chosen a brand-new name.

Cleveland’s choice to drop her debatable nickname and imaging comes 5 months after Washington’s NFL franchise dropped its very own offending nickname under stress from organization enrollers. They will certainly be called the Washington Football Team up until a brand-new nickname is selected.

How did reach this factor? Here’s a timeline of the Cleveland Baseball franchise and every little thing that brought about the choice to change her nickname.


The American League stated itself a Major League in 1900, and the franchise was amongst the 8 charter member that played video games such as Cleveland Blues (1901), Cleveland Bronchos (1902), and Cleveland Naps (1903-14). The snoozes were called in honor of Hall of Fame player (and often player supervisor) Nap Lajoie, the initial American League super star. Lajoie started his profession with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1896 prior to transferring to the Bronchos in 1902.


As Lajoie neared completion of his profession, he was redeemed to the A’s in 1915 and the franchise was relabelled at the request of proprietor CharlesSomers “American Indian” was selected to describe Louis Sockalexis, the initial identified Native American in baseball history, although that tale is debatable.

Sockalexis played for the Spiders from 1897 to1899 The Spiders were a different franchise that fell down after the 1899 period. They were never ever connected with the existing Cleveland franchise besides sharing the exact same town.


initial acknowledges the nickname “American Indian” on its attires. From 1915 to 1927 the team used attires with words “Cleveland” or a stylistic “C” logo. The just exemption remained in 1921, when they used a attire with “Worlds Champions” on the breast in honor of their World Series success in1920 In 1928, Cleveland sometimes utilized the shape of a Native American with a big headdress on the breast of their attires. The logo relocated right into the consistent sleeves in 1929 and remained there up until 1938.


In 1947, proprietor Bill Veeck worked with the JF Novak Company to layout a logo for the team that, according to Scene Magazine, “must share a spirit of pure pleasure and unchecked interest”. The business generated an unrevealed Indian logo with yellow skin, a big nose and a headdress made from private plumes. The logo ended up being called the “Chief Wahoo” due to the fact that it looked like the prominent “Big Chief Wahoo” comic that ran in the 1930 s and 1940 s.

The “Chief Wahoo” logo was revamped numerous times in the years that complied with, and the most recent red-skinned, smaller-nose variation initially showed up in1951 Other variations consisted of a full-body depiction of the personality, often with a baseball bat.


The “Chief Wahoo” logo initially shows up on the team’s caps and was utilized intermittently up until 1962.

1970 s

Protests versus the nickname “Indians” and the “Chief Wahoo” logo start both in the team’s residence arena and on the springtime training school. The demonstrations on the yearly opening day started in 1973 and remain to today. The demonstrations commonly consult with counter-protests and went to times hostile, with physical fights. Some have actually taken lawsuit.

Protests happen frequently on the opening day inCleveland



Team President Peter Bavasi asked players for tips concerning the team’s attire. According to Terry Pluto’s publication The Curse of Rocky Colavito: An Affectionate Glance at a 30-Year Burglary, energy man Pat Tabler recommended placing the “Chief Wahoo” logo on club hats due to the fact that they would certainly “offer like insane”. Pluto composes that although Bavasi shared problem that it would certainly anger Native American teams, the logo was included in the team’s hats.


Jacobs Field (currently Progressive Field) opened up and the club taken into consideration eliminating the Chief Wahoo logo yet inevitably maintained it. When the Municipal Stadium was destroyed, the Western Reserve Historical Society was given away a 28- foot neon indicator “Chief Wahoo” that dominated a major entryway.

April 2, 2016

Owner Paul Dolan introduces that the team will formally utilize a “C” block as the brand-new main logo. The team had actually downsized the usage of the “Chief Wahoo” logo for numerous years, though Dolan verified it would certainly continue to be in minimal capability.

“(There are) no strategies to obtain rid of ‘Chief Wahoo’. It’s component of our history and our heritage,” Dolan claimed at the time. “We have compassion for those that have issues with it. We have actually lessened the initiative and will certainly remain to do what we assume is ideal.”

Oct 2016

Activists in Canada submitted a legal action to stop from utilizing the nickname “Indians” and the “Chief Wahoo” logo throughout the ALCS video games versus the Blue Jays inToronto The legal action was later on disregarded by a court.

Jan 2017

Commissioner Rob Manfred validates that he has actually consulted with the team on the future of the Chief Wahoo logo. At the moment, he claimed, the conversations were still recurring.

29 th January 2018

MLB and Dolan introduce that the team will certainly no more utilize the “Chief Wahoo” logo on their attires. Dolan and Manfred released the adhering to declarations now:

“Major League Baseball is devoted to structure a society of variety and addition throughout the video game,” claimed CommissionerManfred “Last year we cultivated a discussion with the Indian company concerning the club’s usage of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our positive conversations, Paul Dolan made it clear that there are followers that have actually long know with the logo and its location in Still, the club inevitably concurred with my placement that the logo is no more appropriate for usage on the area in Major League Baseball, and I valueMr Dolan’s admiration for having it on the attire at the start The having fun area has actually been eliminated. The 2019 period is the best program.”

“We have actually constantly kept that we understand and are delicate to both sides of the conversation,” claimed Paul Dolan, proprietor of the ClevelandIndians “While we identify that numerous of our followers have a historical partnership with Chief Wahoo, I inevitably concur with Commissioner Manfred’s demand to eliminate the logo from our attires in 2019.”

To maintain the “Chief Wahoo” brand name, Cleveland remained to utilize the logo for limited-edition products.

29 th July 2018

Jim Thome is formally a participant of the Hall of Fame and his plaque reveals the Block “C” logo. Earlier this year, Thome claimed he desired the Block “C” logo on his badge as opposed to the “Chief Wahoo” logo due to the fact that “I assume that’s right.” Thome is the 15 th Cleveland player in the Hall of Fame and just one, Early Wynn, has the Chief Wahoo logo on its plaque. The others have the block “C” or no logo in any way.


The “Chief Wahoo” logo has actually been eliminated entirely. Cleveland Reveals Uniforms With “Indians” and “Cleveland” on Chest, Block “C” Logo on Cap and All-Star Game Patch on Sleeve (Progressive Field organized the 2019 All-Star Game). “Chief Wahoo” was not utilized for the attire in any way.

third July 2020

The NFL’s Washington franchise introduces that they will certainly take into consideration transforming their team nickname. On the exact same day, the Indians introduce that they will certainly take into consideration transforming their nickname also. The team launched the adhering to declaration that day:

“We are devoted to having a favorable influence on our neighborhood and we are devoted to advertising social justice and equal rights. Our company completely acknowledges that our team name is one of one of the most noticeable means we engage with the neighborhood link.

“We have actually had business conversations on these problems. The current agitation in our neighborhood and in our nation has actually just emphasized the demand for additional enhancement as a company on social justice problems.

“With that in mind, we devote to involving our neighborhood and ideal stakeholders in discovering the most effective method to deal with our team name.

“As the emphasis of the baseball globe changes to the exhilaration of an extraordinary 2020 period, we identify our special location in the neighborhood and are devoted to paying attention, finding out and doing as our and all those that do can ideal unify and influence.” assistance ourteam “

Cleveland supervisor Terry Francona and celebrity shortstop Francisco Lindor sustained a name change soon after that. “I assume it’s time to progress. I considered it and considered it prior to we launched this declaration. I recognize in the past when I was asked if it was our name or in charge, Wahoo:” Me assumption I would generally respond to and state that I recognize we never ever attempt to be rude, “Francona claimed at the time.

“If a name change brings even more love and tranquility to culture, I am open to the name change,” includedLindor “Society is transforming and we need to change. I am open to a name change.”

December 13, 2020

The New York Times reports that Cleveland will certainly change its team nickname. The club is anticipated to make a main statement quickly, perhaps today, and a brand-new nickname has actually not yet been selected. They will certainly maintain the nickname “Indians” and their attires in 2021.

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