Medina County-native Walter Goldbach, who designed the controversial-yet-beloved Chief Wahoo logo for the Cleveland Indians, has died at the age of 88.
Goldbach passed away Wednesday at Medina County's Hospice of the Western Reserve. The Indians and the hospice center confirmed the news to WKYC Friday evening.
When he was just 17, Goldbach's Native American caricature was chosen by legendary Tribe owner Bill Veeck for the team to use as its new logo. The original smiling, yellow-faced Chief Wahoo made its debut on the uniforms in 1947, and while the design has since changed slightly, he has remained there ever since.
During the 2016 World Series, WKYC's Andrew Horansky spoke to Goldbach about the history of the logo and the controversy that surrounds it. While he said it's up for the Indians to decide if they want to keep Chief Wahoo or not, he claimed the logo was never meant to offend anyone, and that he had no regrets.
“Things that are banned become more popular as history than if there was no problem with them,” he added at the time.