The Cleveland Indians have decided on a new name for their franchise, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It remains to be seen exactly when the new name will be revealed, as “a source would neither confirm nor deny” if the organization would soon be making any sort of official announcement.
It was just over a year ago that the Tribe announced that “ongoing discussions” were taking place within the organization about potentially changing the team name, and news broke last December that a name change was in the works. While owner Paul Dolan indicated in March that the decision might have to be pushed back to 2023, it now looks like Cleveland’s club will indeed have their new nickname in place for the 2022 season.
There hasn’t been any official indication of what the new team name might be, apart from Dolan stating in December that the Indians wouldn’t simply become “the Tribe” or anything else related to Native Americans or Native American culture. Reports last month stated that the franchise had a final list of name candidates, though none of the potential choices were leaked. Of course, public acknowledgement of any choices on the short list could lead to further complications in trademarking the new nickname — as Dolan said in March, “There aren’t many words in the English language that somebody doesn’t own in some shape or form. Particularly in the sports realm, that’s a real challenge.”
Close to 1100 name choices were on the Indians’ initial list, a sign of just how exhausting the process has been in landing on a new nickname for the organization. Countless more selections have been floated by fans, ranging from past names for the franchise (i.e. the Grays, Naps, Bronchos) prior to the adoption of the “Indians” name in 1915, references to other teams in Cleveland’s baseball history (i.e. the Spiders), references to local Cleveland landmarks (i.e. the Guardians or the Rockers), tributes to past players (i.e. the Dobys or the Fellers), or even references to modern pop culture (i.e. the Avengers).