If the Cleveland Indians change their team name, here are 6 replacement options
The Cleveland Indians plan on changing their team name, according to the New York Times.
The NY Times cited three people familiar with the decision, although those three differed on how Cleveland will move forward. Two sources told the times that Cleveland will be “moving forward without a replacement name then coming up with a new name in consultation with the public.” Basically what Washington Football Team did earlier this year when they changed names.
One source told the Times that Cleveland plans “to keep the Indians name and uniforms for the 2021 season while working to shift away from it as early as 2022.”
This news isn’t a total shock as the Indians announced ahead of this year’s MLB season that they would consider a name change.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community,” the statement reads. “We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice. With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
Below, we came up with some possible suggestions for Cleveland’s new team name.
Hope the Indians go back to the Cleveland Spiders. Could keep same color scheme and even the block C pic.twitter.com/L9iWXO8kEe
— Josh Schaffner (@josh_schaffner) July 4, 2020
This has been the most popular choice. This name references the short-lived baseball team in Cleveland that lasted from 1889 to 1899. The history of the Spiders is actually pretty interesting, as the team owners decided to buy a second team, and moved all of the good players there. Somehow this was legal, and this left the Spiders to rot as they finished 20-134 (.130), which still stands as the worst record in MLB history. The Cleveland Spiders sounds cool, and bringing back the old design would work well. It’s no wonder this is a hit among fans on social media.
— ℤ𝕒𝕔 𝕊𝕥𝕖𝕨𝕒𝕣𝕥 (@zacstewart22) July 4, 2020
This name is a take on the Guardians of Traffic statues seen throughout Cleveland.
The Art Deco figures carved in the sandstone pylons on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge have stood guard over east-west traffic since 1932. Their name comes from Wilbur Watson, the bridge’s engineer, who wrote that the eight figures were meant to “typify the spirit of progress in transportation.” Each guardian holds a different vehicle in his hand, representing the history of ground transport — from a stagecoach, covered wagon and hay rack to a 1930s-era automobile and four types of trucks.
The name is a good choice, as it honors something specific to Cleveland, and the statues provide nice artwork for logos and more.
This name has been floating around on Twitter, as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland. The name isn’t terrible, but I’m not sure whether the Indians would be allowed to use it. The Cleveland Rockers already existed as a WNBA team that played from 1997 until 2003.
A one-letter difference from the previous name, although this name has nothing to do with guitars. The Rockets is a reference to the NASA Glenn Research Center located in Cleveland. According to its website, this research center “designs and develops innovative technology to advance NASA’s missions in aeronautics and space exploration.” One issue with this name, however, is another popular sports franchise already owns this (Houston). The best sports names are the more unique ones, and going with Rockets doesn’t feel like a good choice.
This is a name that has obvious ties to the Ohio State Buckeyes, but it was also the name of a Negro League Baseball club from 1942 to 1950. Ohio is known as “The Buckeye State” because, as State Symbols explains, “many buckeye trees once covered Ohio’s hills and plains.” It feels like Ohio State already dominates the Buckeyes in Ohio, so it’d be weird to have two well-known teams own the nickname Buckeyes in the same state. While some fans want this, it seems a little redundant.
The Naps has nothing to do with Clevelanders falling asleep in the afternoon. The nickname is a play off Nap Lajoie, who was one of Cleveland’s first stars. He was so popular, in fact, that the Indians used to be called the Cleveland Napoleons (and then Naps for short). This is a good choice, as it provides something completely unique. The Naps is a fun name that fans can get behind, and it honors one of the team’s great stars.
A somewhat joke of a team name that’s been floating around on Twitter is the Cleveland Midges. The name was inspired by a tweet sent by former Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes.
The Cleveland Indians should change their name to whatever those bugs were in that playoff game
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) July 4, 2020
The Cleveland Midges does have a great ring to it. And midges are known to invade Cleveland every year, so it would be relevant.
Other names that have become betting favorites include the Rocks (a play on Rockers) and Wild Things (a play on the movie “Major League”).
Odds to be the new name of Cleveland's MLB team (BetOnline):
Wild Things +500
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) July 4, 2020
While speculating on name changes is fun, it’s worth noting that the Indians have not explicitly stated they are changing names. Cleveland just said it was going to review whether a name change is needed.