Cleveland Indians Have Final List of Potential New Team Names

The organization said this week it has a final list from an initial pool of nearly 1,200 entries

The Indians logo seen at Progressive Field stadium in Cleveland.
The Indians logo seen at Progressive Field stadium in Cleveland.
Jason Miller/Getty

No matter what happens this season, it will be the final one for the Cleveland Indians.

The organization, which has had its current nickname for more than 100 years (since 1915), announced in December that it would be changing the team’s name following the 2021 season.

The ballclub began meeting with fans to help source potential new names in February and concluded the new name needed to connect with the city, preserve the team’s history and unite the community based on those discussions. After initially coming up with nearly 1,200 potential new names, the team is now vetting the possibilities for legal purposes.

“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.”

Prior to being called the Indians, Cleveland’s baseball team has previously been called the Spiders, Blues and Forest Citys. Going forward, team owner Paul Dolan said the new name will not have any Native American themes or connotations, according to The Associated Press. Some fans are pushing the team to revert to the Spiders, while the Guardians and Avengers have also been popular potential new choices on social media.

The team removed their Chief Wahoo logo from their game jerseys and caps several years ago, but continues to sell merchandise featuring the grinning cartoon mascot.

“We’ll continue working with our creative team to revise and refine our new branding elements,” per the team. “We want to make sure every element will support our new name, has a story to tell and aligns with the key themes we identified from our research (connect to the city, preserve our history and unite the community). Once we feel strongly about all elements, we’ll put the finishing touches to make sure they all work together as one cohesive brand.”

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