CLEVELAND -- On Monday, the Cleveland Indians will unveil a "new uniform option" as well as "small enhancements" to the existing options for the 2019 season.
We already know what the biggest change will be.
After more than 70 years of being a fixture of Cleveland baseball, the Chief Wahoo logo has been removed from the Indians' caps and uniforms. The Indians announced earlier this year that 2018 would mark the final season the team wore the polarizing red-faced caricature of a Native American, which has come under fire in recent years due to the perceived racism it denotes.
“Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game," league commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement in January. "Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the Club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo. During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team. Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan’s acknowledgement that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.”
Although the Indians will no longer wear Chief Wahoo on the field, the team will still be able to sell merchandise featuring the logo through a trademark agreement.
While it has been known for nearly a year now that the Indians would be updating their existing uniforms, it had not been previously known that the team would be adding a new uniform to its existing set. Currently, the Indians possess three different jersey tops -- white, gray and navy -- as well as two non-Chief Wahoo caps: a navy hat with a red block C and a red hat with a navy block C.
The Indians will unveil their new threads on Monday at 10 a.m.