With the Cleveland Indians thinking about a name change, it’s time for the Spiders to take back the … [+]
With the Cleveland Indians joining Washington’s professional football team in considering a name change amid a widespread effort to look at names and logos with racist or insensitive roots, numerous names have been suggested on the Tribe’s new nickname.
Indians manager Terry Francona spoke out in favor of the name change when asked on Sunday. “I think it’s time to move forward,” he said.
“I was happy that we are going to be open to listening,” he said.
In exchange for hosting the 2019 All-Star Game at Progressive Field, Cleveland agreed to abandon its smiling Chief Wahoo logo after the 2018 season. That was the first step in the franchise’s eventual move to change the nickname for this American League mainstay.
There have been suggestions to change the name to the Naps, which was the team name the city primarily used between 1903 and 1914 after Hall Of Fame player and manager Nap Lajoie. Unless you want to hear jokes about Cleveland being the “sleeper team” every year, this name shouldn’t work. There will be other team name suggestions like the Rocks, after the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland and 1990s sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and the Wild Things, after Charlie Sheen’s character in the Major League movies. But the best and proper new nickname is the Spiders.
The Spiders played for two years in the American Association from 1887-1888 and the National League from 1889-1899. They won the 1895 Temple Cup behind a pitcher you may have heard of named Cy Young, but after owners also purchased the St. Louis Browns and moved all its good players from Cleveland down south, things turned for the worst.
Fans stopped showing up and the other NL teams eventually refused to as well. The Spiders ended up playing the rest of its season on the road, finishing with an 11-101 away record and a 20-134 season that will never be broken in terms of futility. After that, the Spiders were one of four teams, with the Washington Senators, Louisville Colonels and Baltimore Orioles, to be contracted from the NL. In 1901, the American League added a Cleveland team today known as the Indians.
The Spiders not only have a cool name and there’s all that webbing in gloves, but they have a deep, if failed, history in the city of Cleveland. It’s time to put the Indians in the past and look even further back, for the Spiders to deliver home runs and web gems in Northeast Ohio for years to come.