The Soon Not To Be Cleveland “Indians” At Spring Training 1954

Indians About To Tackle The Cameraman? No, Just A Foot Race At Spring Training 1954

Here we see the Cleveland Indians at spring training in 1954. The news slug reads:

Tucson, Arizona: Speed is what manager Al Lopez wants and these three outfielders got it. They are left to right – Larry Doby, Gale Wade and Dave Philley. photo : UPI Telephoto 3/5/54

They’ve been called the  Cleveland Indians since 1915 but the team will abandon their moniker after the 2021 season.

Are Native Americans truly offended by the name Indians? With partisan and politically motivated surveys and popular polls there is contradictory evidence that self-identifying Native Americans are bothered by the name “Indians.” The general population has historically been on the side of maintaining traditional team names, but even those attitudes have been changing.

For the Washington Redskins a 2019 web-based survey of 500 self-identified Native Americans that was reported in The Washington Post found that 68% of those polled were not offended by the Washington Redskins’ name.  Among other things, it asked respondents to identify whether the Redskins’ name made them feel proud, disappointed, empowered, embarrassed, appreciative or hopeless.

Moreover, a 2016 Washington Post survey found that nine in 10 Native Americans polled claimed not to be bothered by the moniker. It was a telephone survey of 504 self-identified Native Americans, and the results are said to have influenced the decision of team owner Daniel Snyder to retain the Redskins’ name.

Then in 2020 the University of Michigan and University of California, Berkeley conducted another poll and the majority of Native Americans were highly offended!

Maybe some organization can conduct a thorough poll using scientific methodology without loaded questions to get to the bottom of the issue.

In the meantime get ready for a bunch of inane name suggestions. Hopefully the Indians will not settle on as weird a name as the new Seattle NHL franchise who will begin playing in 2021 as the Kraken.

For some bizarre reason when Seattle’s team name was revealed, all I could think of was the cult film Highlander (1986) and the hero’s nemesis who was called the Kurgan.

Ah yes, let’s root for the The Seattle Kurgan. Now that’s a name and mascot you could root for.

2 thoughts on “The Soon Not To Be Cleveland “Indians” At Spring Training 1954

  1. Jon

    Why am I not surprised that people in a Berkley poll ended up being offended by something?

    P.S. The Seattle Kurgans would’ve been much cooler 🙂


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