The franchise will be exploring new names for the first time in 105 years
The Cleveland Indians have announced that the team will either change or drop its name following the 2021 season. The move comes after the Washington Football Team dropped its Redskins nickname over the summer.
Cleveland has had the Indians nickname since 1915, so choosing a new one may take some time. Here are five to consider.
During Prohibition, every city had an illegal pipeline for importing booze. Cleveland was no different. Bootleggers transported liquor from Canada across Lake Erie into Cleveland. This new moniker could poke fun at the city’s past, and since Prohibition ended nearly 90 years ago, hopefully no one would cry "Too soon."
Cleveland DJ Alan Freed first dubbed the term "rock and roll" and the city is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so "Rock Stars" or "Rockers" could serve as an option. The latter was also the name of Cleveland’s WNBA team from 1997 to 2003.
3. River Fire
One of the most notorious moments in Cleveland’s history occurred when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire in 1969 and helped start the American environmental movement. While the Cleveland Burning River is the name of a roller derby team, the Cleveland River Fire is up for grabs.
In the 1890s, Cleveland had two professional baseball teams. One was the Spiders, who played in the National League from 1889 to 1899. In their final season, the Spiders recorded the worst record in MLB history, going 20-134 before disbanding. But the name is really cool.
Before changing the franchise name in 1915, the Indians were originally the Cleveland Naps, named in honor of their star second baseman, Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie. Cleveland could just turn back the clock and go with this earlier name. After all, the Cleveland Browns are named after their original coach and co-founder, Paul Brown.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.