CLEVELAND — In due time, perhaps as soon as next season, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will have a new name.
After more than a century as the "Indians," the club says it will drop the moniker and go in a new direction, citing a need to "unify our community and bring people together." Critics of the name had long claimed it was racially insensitive to Native Americans.
History doesn't change, and every fielded group from 1915 through at least 2021 will still be remembered as the Indians. How exactly the franchise moves forward, though, remains anyone's guess.
Even before the official announcement of a name change came down, suggestions for a new identity began sprouting up all over Cleveland and social media. In recent months, a consensus has begun to form, with a select few options emerging as top contenders among the fans.
That's where you come in: 3News has selected what it feels are the six most-popular new name choices as of right now, and we're asking our viewers to vote for their favorite. All have some sort of tie to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, and a few were even names used by local professional baseball or other sports teams from the past.
To be clear: This list is NOT definitive. For all we know, the team could pick a name no one has ever thought of before, or a new option could emerge before a final decision is made. If that happens, we'll adjust and analyze accordingly.
During the next month, 3News will continue to examine the history of the name "Indians" and why the team is now deciding to do away with it. We will also take individual, in-depth looks at some of the options and the campaigns they are running as we try to find a good fit.
3News' Stephanie Haney and Mark Naymik discussed the impending name change on the "3 Things to Know" podcast:
Stay tuned for more coverage in the weeks to come. We look forward to hearing from you!