Walter Goldbach created one of the most recognizable mascots in baseball, the Indians’ Chief Wahoo, and today has no regrets about it.
“I’m 87 years old and I’m sorta happy when I get up in the morning,” he said. “Whatever they [the franchise] want to do, I’m going to leave that up to the Cleveland Indians.”
The former art teacher had been working at his family’s emblem business in 1946, when he said the Indians’ owner called on them for a caricature of a Native American.
Goldbach’s was picked. Just 17 at the time, he said he was inspired by his students and how they drew eyes.
“To make Chief Wahoo a happy person,” he said.
The actual “Wahoo” name came later, from somebody else, along with the red face still used today.
Yet it is an image fading from Progressive Filed amid protests, scathing articles, and even a legal battle in Toronto over the Indian’s right to play there.
Goldbach believes the “C” replacing the mascot is boring, but adds it has given more attention to his work.
“Things that are banned become more popular as history than if there was no problem with them,” he said.