03 May 2010
Cleveland is known as "The Forest City" and its earliest 1870s pro team was called the Forest City Base Ball Club.
In the 1890s, their National League team was called the Cleveland Spiders by the press, supposedly because of its long-limbed players.
After a dreadful 20 and 134 season in 1899, they picked up the names the "Wanderers" and the "Exiles" since they became a road franchise.
The following year, they were resurrected in the young American League as the "Blues" because of their dark blue uniforms. But they went through other names too.
While being led by player and sometimes-manager Nap Lajoie, the team was known as the Cleveland Naps and when managed by Deacon McGuire, they picked up the moniker the "Molly Maguires".
Legend has it that the team honored Louis Sockalexis when it assumed its current name in 1915. On the contrary, the media and the team chose Cleveland Indians as a play on the name of the . Proponents of the name also acknowledged that the late-1890s club had sometimes been informally called the "Indians" during Sockalexis' short career there, a fact which merely reinforced the new name.
The Cleveland "Indians" name originates from a request by the club owner to decide on a new name, following the 1914 season.
Because there was already a Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves), the media chose "the Indians". (The Boston Braves were nicknamed the "Miracle Braves" after going from last place on July 4 to a sweep in the 1914 World Series.)
They are nicknamed "the Tribe" and "the Wahoos". The latter is a reference to the mascot which appears in the team's logos, Chief Wahoo.
Chief Wahoo is a trademarked mascot for the Cleveland Indians baseball team. The illustration is a Native American cartoon caricature. The mascot has been accused of reinforcing negative stereotypes about Native Americans. The expression "Wahoo" generally means a loud yell. The character's initial incarnation made its first appearance as a shoulder patch on Cleveland uniforms in 1947.
There are some claims that because the original team had a native American player, Louis Sockalexis, play for them for 3 seasons in 1897-1899 when they were the Spiders that the renaming was a tribute to him.
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