The End Is Near For The Cleveland Indians Brand Name

The team had the name since 1915.

The Cleveland Indians brand name will be relegated to history books and to various museums in Cooperstown, New York and around Ohio after the team takes the field for one last time with the name. The team’s ownership has  gradually been easing out its Chief Wahoo logo over the past decade. The newly branded Cleveland Guardians is now in the marketplace. The Cleveland franchise has had numerous names including the Lake Shores, Bluebirds, Bronchos and Naps. The team was renamed the Indians in 1915. The rebranding of the Cleveland baseball franchise is Major League Baseball’s first renaming in 57 years. The Houston Astros baseball team was known as the Houston Colt .45s for its first three years of existence between 1962 and 1964. But that team was not rebranded because people were upset that the baseball club was named after a gun. It was a business decision because the team ownership didn’t want to pay naming royalties to the gunmaker’s owner.

The Houston baseball club owner Roy Hofheinz was overseeing the team’s move into a new stadium which would be called the Astrodome and thought a new name would sell merchandise. He came up with the Astronauts because Houston was the home to the American astronaut program but the name was too long. It was shortened to the Astros. The Colt .45s name came from a name the team contest. William Irving Neder suggested the name Colt .45s because it fit the frontier image of Texas and that the gun played a role in the American West. Everything was fine, the Colt Firearms Company allowed Hofheinz to have the Colt .45 name and there was an image of the Colt 45 gun on the team’s jersey. But there was a dispute and Hofheinz decided to go with the name Astros in the new stadium beginning in 1965. Money talks.

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A Cleveland Indians fan holds up a sign during a baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Cleveland. Cleveland plays its final home game against the Royals as the Indians, the team’s nickname since 1915. The club will be called the Cleveland Guardians next season. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)