Cleveland ball club has decided on new team name, per report

Major League Baseball’s Cleveland franchise announced in December of 2020 that they had decided to get rid of the “Indians” nickname that had become increasingly divisive. However, they intended to remain the Indians for the 2021 season and then go in a new direction, possibly in time for the 2022 season. 

Now it appears there’s real movement on the team side. Sources tell Paul Hoynes of that the club has decided on a new name for the team. However, the team does not appear to be ready to make matters official. Hoynes writes: 

What that name is and when it will be announced has yet to be determined, but progress is being made on both fronts. When asked if an announcement was imminent, a source would neither confirm nor deny that question.

Owner Paul Dolan not long ago hinted at the possibility that a new name might not be fully in place until the 2023 season but that 2022 remains the goal. If, as the reliable Hoynes reports, the club has indeed settled on a new name, then that may point to a full rollout in time for the 2022 season.

The franchise has gone by the name Indians since 1915, but sports franchises are increasingly under criticism for using names, logos, and uniform design elements that reference Native Americans. Already, the Cleveland ball club has phased out use of the “Chief Wahoo” logo, and the NFL’s Washington franchise has been going by the “Washington Football Team” moniker since altering its identity in July of last year after receiving pressure from sponsors. 

Cleveland’s MLB franchise has had three other identities during its existence: the Naps (after Nap Lajoie), the Bronchos, and the Blues. Of those, the Naps is the only name that lasted more than a single season. 

As for the new name, speculation is the only guide at this juncture. In this space, we explored possibilities like the Cleveland Spiders, Crows, Rockers, Fellers, Buckeyes, and Dobys.  

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