Are “Chief Wahoo’s” days as the Cleveland Indians primary method of branding over?
It certainly feels that way.
After years and years of *very slowly* removing the Chief bit-by-bit, the controversial logo has very suddenly been almost completely eliminated for all things Cleveland Indians over the past few months.
We got our first hint that something may be on the way when coming into 2013 the Indians stopped wearing “Wahoo” on their batting helmets altogether. The Chief had previously been worn on the batting helmet every game, home-and-away, up until 2009 when it was suddenly erased from road games. In 2013 it was taken off helmets for home games as well, replaced with the simple block, red “C” logo:
When the Indians clinched a 2013 playoff berth in September their post-season shirts didn’t use their primary logo, or their home cap logo (like every other team used), instead using the plain block red C from the Indians road cap. “Road cap logo” seems like an odd choice for a playoff shirt, you know, unless there was a reason for it:
From there it was various graphics produced by Major League Baseball, no Wahoo anywhere. On these 2013 “Organization All-Stars” graphics the Cleveland Indians are the only team to NOT use their official primary logo, even the very-rarely-seen Baltimore Orioles official primary is included. Instead of Wahoo they use the “Indians” home jersey wordmark, this was clearly done intentionally:
We also got to see a leak of the Indians’ planned 2014 batting practice and spring training uniforms earlier this month, something’s certainly absent once again. Wahoo had previously been worn on the sleeve as a shoulder patch on these jerseys up until 2013, now it’s gone, not on the cap, not on the jersey… anywhere
On the Cleveland Indians 2014 Season Ticket brochures and schedules again we don’t see Chief Wahoo, the Indians script logo and that block red “C” logo is present, as are photos of the Indians wearing uniforms which don’t include Wahoo anywhere on them:
While Wahoo is present in the footer and in some promotional areas of the Indians official website, you’ll notice it’s gone from both the websites “Indians.Com” logo (block red C), the banner “Indians script”, and nowhere to be found on the 2014 season tickets page… “C”s and “Indians” scripts everywhere.
Similarly their official Twitter page chooses to only feature the script logo and the block C.
And finally, on this World Series retrospective posted today by MLB.com you’ll see despite them using the era-appropriate logos for the Diamondbacks in 2001 and Marlins in 1997 and 2003, Chief Wahoo has been replaced by the modern-day block red C for Cleveland’s World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997.
Is a change coming? Maybe not “officially”, the team has said in the past to SportsLogos.Net that the logo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon… but with all the attention over the Washington Redskins name lately plus these pieces of evidence shown above I’d be surprised if we see very much of the Chief, if at all for the 2014 season and beyond. Good news for most.
What do you think?