CLEVELAND — The process to select a new name for the Cleveland Indians is well under way, so much so that the team has narrowed down its list of options for the new moniker.
How many possibilities remain? Well, try 1,198.
The club on Thursday gave the latest update in its much-hyped name search by unveiling a new website that outlines the steps it will take towards making a final decision. Team leaders say they have already conducted more than 140 hours of interviews and surveyed upwards of 40,000 fans, processes that will only continue as the search for the No. 1 selection rolls on.
"While we are excited for this new chapter in our franchise's story, this change does not diminish the 100+ years of our ball club's history and the rich tradition of baseball in Cleveland," the team said. "We will continue to honor our past as we look forward to unveiling the new name to all of our fans and the city of Cleveland."
Watch video from one of those listening sessions in the player below:
All name options will now undergo a 14-round vetting process to determine just how well they fit three key themes, which have been identified by the organization and are listed as follows:
- Connect to the city of Cleveland
- Preserve our rich baseball history
- Unite the community
Once the list is sufficiently narrowed down, the club will begin coming up with logo and brand ideas to see how those names might work on the field and with fans. During this phase, officials will also consult with Major League Baseball to determine of the identities are legally viable before a final announcement is made.
The Indians first announced last July that they were exploring the possibility of changing the name that has been in place since 1915, and five months later the move was made official following "meaningful conversations with a variety of stakeholders, including Native American groups" and others. Furthermore, the club wrote, "While Indians will always be a part of our history, the most important part of our team name is Cleveland."
While the consensus seems to be most fans would prefer to keep the Indians name, mock-ups and discussions for its replacement began to pop up almost immediately. 3News even conducted a poll featuring six of the most popular choices, with "Spiders" (the name of a 19th century National League team in the city) coming out on top with 27.7% of the vote.
Just when the Indians will announce their final decision remains to be seen, and owner Paul Dolan has stated a change might not come until 2023. During that time, the "Indians" label will remain in place.
Check out our past coverage on possible new name options:
- 'SPIDERS': The current favorite in 3News' poll for the Indians' new name has a deep, rich history
- 'ROCKERS': Could the Indians get musical with their new name?
- 'GUARDIANS: The 'trendy' pick to be the Indians' new name
- 'CLEVELAND BASEBALL CLUB': What if the Indians went with no name at all?
- 'BUCKEYES': Possible Indians name option could pay homage to city's storied Negro League history
- 'MUNICIPALS': Contender for Cleveland Indians' new name, has a lot of grassroots support