Chief Wahoo will be retired following the 2018 season
After 103 years as the Cleveland Indians’ logo, Chief Wahoo will be retired after the 2018 season.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the decision Monday after discussions with the Indians organization.
Stephanie Mansour, owner of Touchdown Gifts inside Southern Park Mall in Boardman, said she made sure to get extra Chief Wahoo merchandise before the announcement was made.
“We get a lot of demand for the Wahoo,” she said. “Everybody wants a Wahoo.”
Kaleigh Clark, a Cleveland native who was outside Youngstown State University on Monday, said the Chief Wahoo logo is closely associated with Cleveland. “It’s just tradition, basically,” she said. “I grew up on tradition. Taking that away kinda sucks.”
Dan Malanga, also a YSU student, said the team will lose a part of its history but understands how others find the logo offensive.
“I understand where it comes from because it is kind of racist,” Malanga said. “But it is also part of the city’s history. It’s kind of hard to separate that. It’s a good thing, but it’s also part of history that they’re taking because it’s been a part of the team for so long.”
There was no immediate reaction from Indians players.
“It’s a big disappointment,” Jeremiah Baker said at a sporting-goods store in suburban Westlake as he picked through a clearance bin of caps with his wife and two children. “Chief Wahoo has been so iconic for so many years, and I understand that some people may be offended, but it’s a blow to native Clevelanders.”
The presence of the Wahoo logo is likely to remain strong in the stands on caps, T-shirts and signs, and other Native American references in the stadium will probably persist. The team will continue to sell Chief Wahoo gear because if it stops doing so, it will lose ownership of the trademark, and others will be able to use the symbol as they please.