Spiders? Guardians? Wild Things? Fans On Renaming Cleveland Baseball Team

Cleveland's Major League Baseball, which plays at Progressive Field, team is looking for a new team name. [Gabriel Kramer / ideastream]
Cleveland's Major League Baseball team, which plays at Progressive Field, is looking for a new team name. [Gabriel Kramer / ideastream]
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Everybody knows what to sing during the seventh inning stretch.

Root, root, root for the home team. Right?

But in Cleveland, fans are now unsure of what the home team is.

Owner Paul Dolan announced this week that the team is dropping “Indians” and looking for a new team name starting in 2022.

"We gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team and the detrimental effects is has on them,” Dolan said in a statement this week.

While the new name is undecided, fans have plenty of ideas and they haven't been shy about sharing them on social media.

Some common ones:

The Guardians – to honor the iconic Guardians of Transportation statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge that leads up to the ballpark from the West Side of the town.

The Spiders – going back to the team’s name from the 19th century.

The Buckeyes – an homage to Cleveland’s Negro League baseball team of that name.

There are others that aren’t quite as popular, but are definitely interesting.

The Wild Things – after the nickname for fictional Cleveland pitcher Rick Vaughn from the movie Major League.

The Kingfishers – a bird of prey often found near the waters of Northeast Ohio. This team name could fly alongside the other Major League Baseball birds  – the Orioles, Cardinals and Blue Jays.

The Rockers – Cleveland is the birthplace of Rock and Roll and it was once home to a WNBA team of the same name. Some shorten this suggestion to Rocks, as in Cleveland rocks.

A lot of off-the-wall names bounced around the twitter feed of Chris McNeil – a die-hard Cleveland sports fan who is hugely popular on Twitter as @Reflog_18.

Some the suggestions his followers shared include:

The Cleveland Lake Effect Snow.

The Cleveland Pierogis.

The Cleveland Leg Lamps.

“The Cleveland Rain Delays,” McNeil said. “That one’s particularly hurtful because of the World Series we lost to the Cubs due to the rain delay. So, I don’t think we’ll be going with that one anytime soon.”

Downtown Cleveland was packed with fans before Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. [Gabriel Kramer / ideastream]

Some folks have lobbied for “The Tribe,” which they see as a less offensive alternative to the current name.

Dolan said Native American groups told the team that was a bad idea. It won’t be considered. The team wants a clean break from any Native American reference.

Emma Wilson was among a handful of patrons Tuesday at the Academy Tavern on Cleveland’s East Side, where pre-COVID crowds often gathered for games.

“I think they should go back the Spiders, because wasn’t that the original name? I think that would be cool to go back to their roots,” Wilson said. “You don’t hear about a lot of teams who are called the Spiders.”

Allison Miedl thinks the Guardians can lead to some creative team artwork.

“I saw some logos people were coming up with with that bridge in Ohio City and I just think it’s cool and it’s different,” Miedl said.

Mike Williams has a no-frills solution.

“Something applicable to the region, color blind. The Clevelanders. Simple. To the point,” Williams said.

So, what will it be Cleveland? What new name would you give to this storied franchise?

Me personally, I want to call them World Series Champions.

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