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The Solution to Cleveland Baseball’s Name Dilemma

Cleveland Municipals co-founders Will Weible and Jamie Lansdowne weigh the options and explain how the Cleveland Indians can get it right.

“Municipals” makes clear that this team belongs to and represents every single Clevelander.

What is one of the most commonly agreed upon characteristics of Cleveland sports? It’s that the people of Cleveland are defiantly loyal to their sports teams. Perhaps more than any other city in the country, Cleveland lives through its teams. As the Sixth City declined in population and prosperity in the second half of the 20th century, our sports teams increasingly became our ticket to the world stage. They helped us retain our place in the national conversation, they provided civic pride to Cleveland expats living elsewhere — they grounded our identities in something shared and profound.

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Postcard by Wilbur Evans.
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The Beatles played Municipal Stadium during their final U.S. tour in 1966.
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Postcard from the 1936–1937 Great Lakes Exposition.
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Cleveland hosts the Boston Braves during the 1948 World Series.

If we throw away our claim on our classic-baseball legacy by choosing a superficial name that could be used anywhere, then we have nothing.

The organization has a big choice ahead of them. As Terry Pluto reported in July, the organization “want[s] the name to be one that lasts for the rest of this century. They don’t want to have buyer’s remorse in a few years.” This is a tall task, so let’s dispense with the knee-jerk choices that won’t age well.

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Munis hat by Ebbets Field Flannels.
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A game during the final season of baseball at Municipal Stadium, 1993.
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A New Era of Cleveland Baseball

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