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Rename the Cleveland Baseball Club
I've written before about the prospect of the Cleveland Baseball Club changing their name after the Washington Football Team dropped the "Redskins" nickname. It's been mostly quiet on the Cleveland front lately, but I still fully expect it to happen. The pressure has been building for years and they should have just done it when they finally dropped the "Chief Wahoo" logo a few years back.
For the record, I choose to no longer use the "Indians" nickname for the Cleveland Baseball Club, not because I'm being "politically correct" or because I've turned into an "SJW" or any other such nonsense, but rather because I'm being polite.
Yes, "Indians" is still the official nickname of the team, and if someone else chooses to use it I won't judge them. I, however, prefer to end the controversy for the sake of no longer dealing with the controversy, and because if someone is offended by the nickname then I see no reason why I should go out of my way to offend them. I don't believe in going out of my way to avoid offending people either, but referring to the club as simply Cleveland is hardly going out of my way.
This does, admittedly, represent a change in my position on the subject, as I previously said:
I do think it’s best that any team using Native American terms of any sort in their names change them. Not because I’ll necessarily agree that they’re offensive, but because the goal of any sport must surely be to simply play the sport. Any controversy over the name of a sports team is obviously an unnecessary distraction from playing the game.
My position was based on the notion that Cleveland was originally named the "Indians" to honor the first Native American player in Major League Baseball history, Louis Sockalexis, who played for the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in the 19th-century. That, however, seems to be a fabrication of history after the fact to justify choosing that nickname.
I've also changed my position on Cleveland taking "Spiders" as their nickname, which I was previously against.
It now seems inevitable that Cleveland will change their nickname to the Spiders, which has the most support among the possible name changes due to the history of the nickname in Cleveland baseball history.
The original Spiders may have the dishonor of being disbanded in 1899 after putting up the worst record in Organized Baseball history, but there's a huge asterisk next to that stat due to the owner of the Spiders transferring all the best players from Cleveland, including Cy Young, to the other team that he owned in St. Louis, which later became the Cardinals.
Prior to that, the Spiders were a championship winning team and did well on a regular basis, which makes sense considering Cy Young, one of the greatest players of all time, was on the roster.
Regardless, the Spiders have a proud history in Cleveland, and that's enough of a reason to switch the nickname to the Spiders going forward. This is not to mention the money that can be made on spider-themed merchandise, as plenty of others have pointed out before me.
Some people have put forward "Buckeyes" as a possible nickname, after the former Cleveland Negro League team, but with The Ohio State University calling themselves the Buckeyes it doesn't seem likely or smart. I also saw someone throw out the idea of using "Grays" as the nickname, which I actually like quite a bit, but the name really has no ties to Cleveland baseball history aside from the Homestead Grays of Washington, D.C. being defeated by the Cleveland Buckeyes in the Negro League World Series.
It seems to me that it absolutely has to be the Spiders, and most likely will be. As I said before, we haven't heard much from Cleveland's owners or management since they announced that they would be reviewing the possibility of changing their nickname in July, but hopefully they're working behind the scenes to get the nickname changed for the start of the 2021 season.