The Cleveland Indians are getting a new name.
That is a fact.
Fans are now coming up with their favorite options and “Spiders” is one that has gained plenty of notoriety thanks to the echo chamber that is social media.
If a few people are constantly posting about the name, the noise gets loud.
But there may be a misconception that this is actually a former name of the Indians.
That is simply untrue.
So let’s take a quick history lesson on who the Spiders were.
My second attempt at designing some Cleveland Spiders uniforms. Are y’all on board yet? 🕷 pic.twitter.com/pKzdyLeVF2
— Brad Wolf (@bradwolfdesign) June 29, 2021
A Totally Separate Franchise
The Cleveland Spiders name came about in 1889 as the team joined the National League.
As a fun fact, Cy Young began his legendary career with the Spiders.
The team was solid for about a decade before the infamous 1899 season came around.
Ownership poached its own talent to send to a different club it owned, leaving the Spiders as practically a minor league team with no chance of success.
The team proceeded to finish a disastrous 20-134 and went 11-101 on the road.
The latter happened because no one in Cleveland cared to pay to see a team where ownership clearly did not care.
Jokes can be made about current ownership, but this was truly something else.
Imagine if the Dolan family owned another MLB team and routinely sent top talent there instead of Cleveland.
The winners of the NL in 1899 were the Brooklyn Superbas, for those keeping track.
The Spiders were disbanded following that sad 1899 season and major league baseball returned to the city in 1901 when the franchise currently known as the Indians joined the American League.
So while the history is there, it is not anything particularly worth honoring.
Spiders As A New Name
It is a bit confusing why some fans are so keen on the new name being Spiders.
Do they just want to be able to say they were the original supporters?
It is tough to tell on social media.
— Picquet Designs (@TravisPicqu3t) January 29, 2021
But there is zero connection between the Spiders and Indians, other than the fact both played in Cleveland.
Picking an original name that has not been used in the city before allows for a true fresh start without any historical precedent attached to the name.
Besides, going with a name that represents losing and dysfunction would just be silly.
The good news is that this name debate should end, we hope, late in 2021 or early in 2022.
The longer it lasts, the more debates will rage on regarding a situation fans cannot control.
It is no secret that plenty of fans are upset with the idea of a new name.
Well, one is coming and that is not going to change.
Hopefully, ownership considers the history behind the Spiders name before making a decision.
But if they do go with Spiders?
The color combinations, along with the artwork, sure does have some potential.