If the Cleveland Indians change their team name, here are some of the best options.


The Cleveland Indians recently announced that they will be discussing the team’s name change.

The franchise has been known as Indians since 1915, but sports franchises have come under increasing criticism for using uniform names, logos, and design elements that refer to Native Americans. The Indians have gradually abandoned the use of the “Chief Wahoo” logo and NFL Washington Redskins discuss name change themselves after receiving pressure from sponsors.

So maybe the Indians will be gone, and in its place, there will be … something else. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates to be something else.

Cleveland spiders

With apologies to the University of Richmond, “Spiders” is a terribly underused sport team name. In this case, there is a civic connection: the city’s late nineteenth-century National League short-lived franchise was known as the Cleveland Spiders. You will find that this one is a popular option on social media.

Cleveland Naps

Nap Lajoie spent the heart of his legendary career with the Cleveland American League team and was the first true AL superstar. His star power was such that, yes, the Cleveland team was named the Naps before being named the Indians. This means that it would indeed be a nod to the history of the franchise to bring the name back to “Naps”. Bonus points are awarded because the word also means food time spent on the sofa.

Nap Lajoie, in 1913, playing for the Cleveland Naps.

Getty Images

Cleveland Fellers

In keeping with this franchise tradition of naming the team after a player, consider the Fellers with a nod to Paul Swydan of the Hardball Times for the idea. The name would of course invoke Bob Feller, author of a legendary fastball, the biggest pitcher in franchise history and a war hero. Feller is also an ordinary vernacular for “comrade”, and it lends itself to all kinds of punishment.

Cleveland Rockers

Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it’s fairly transparent. Guitar bats on the jerseys and all that. Krokus had some solid jams. They don’t come from Cleveland, but still.

Cleveland Crows

Note the pleasant alliteration! Bird nicknames should be encouraged, and “crows” are a neglected bird species in sports iconography. But wait, that’s not all. Directly from the pages of the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, we learn that “American crows are abundant in Ohio …”. The hills are shaken: there are crows in Ohio. So if appropriate. GO CROWS! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CAW, CAW, CAW, CAW!

Cleveland Blue Sox

White and red are already spoken, so let’s complete the American palette with the Blue Sox. There’s already blue in the Cleveland uniform, so yes, of course. The awkwardness of naming a team “Sox” is also a mini-tradition of baseball that should be adopted and possibly expanded.

Cleveland Cuyahogas

Among the MLB cities, only the Pittsburgh Monongahela is a cooler river name. The Cuyahoga River flows through Cleveland, and is also the name of Cleveland County. Is Cleveland the county seat? I guess so, but I don’t want to look for it.

Cleveland Great Lakers

Cleveland is located on the shores of Lake Erie, which is a member in good standing of the Great Lakes. So great Lakers. Additionally, the name implies that Cleveland is better than the Los Angeles Lakers, which is certainly true.

Unions de Cleveland

During the American Civil War, Cleveland became an important hub for the Union, particularly with regard to shipbuilding. The population and economic base of Cleveland also exploded during these war years. This team also won.

Cleveland Blues

It was actually the name of Cleveland spiders before they were spiders. He also mentioned the Union links mentioned above. Note that a player named Cinders O’Brien played for the Blues.

Cleveland Cinders

I just told you about Cinders O’Brien, so I don’t know why I’m explaining this one.

Cleveland Castles

President James Garfield is buried in a mini-castle at Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery. So there is the link. In addition, the castles are fairly fair, and as far as this scribe knows what he is talking about, there is no team known as Castles.

Dangers de Cleveland

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry is a local maritime hero because of his exploits in the War of 1812, and the word also evokes some of the dangers we associate with Cleveland. For example, the aforementioned Cuyahoga River caught fire, perhaps leaving behind … ashes. Either way, burning a river is difficult.

Cleveland Burning River

See above. It is also the name of a local roller derby league. They had the name first, but everything is a negotiation.

We understand you like it all, but you can only choose one. CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!


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