Sunday, March 9, 2008

On This Date In Baseball History…

March 9th, 1897 – The Cleveland Spiders (as they were known then) signed Holy Cross star Chief Sockalexis to a contract. Sockalexis, a full-blooded Penobscot Indian, soon earned the admiration of Spiders’ supporters because of his outstanding all-around skill. Before long, baseball fans start referring to the Cleveland team as the Indians. Sockalexis played only three years with the team because of acute alcoholism, but the nickname Indians will be revived in 1915 to become the club's official name.

This is one version of the story. Another version claims that one of the three local Cleveland newspapers ran a contest to name the team and the fans chose "Indians" to honor Sockalexis.

Another version claims that the writer who ran the contest ran the contest and inserted "Indians" as the winner because it was his choice.

Either way, love it or hate it (hope you love it), the smiling caricature is one of the most recognizable sports logos in the world.

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