Professional baseball has been played in the United States since the Cincinnati Red Stockings started in 1869. The National League was formed in 1876 with teams such as the Chicago White Stockings, New York Mutuals and Hartford Dark Blues.
Through the years there have been lots of different, and kind of weird, team names. Some early names tried to indicate that the team was terrific. There were teams that played in Brooklyn, New York, called the Superbas and Tip-Tops. A Saint Louis, Missouri, team was called the Perfectos.
My favorite is a team in Wilmington, Delaware, that was called the Wilmington Quicksteps. I guess they wanted everyone to think that their team was fast. The only thing that went quickly was the team. The Quicksteps ended after 18 games.
Other team names didn’t have much to do with baseball. The team that’s now the Atlanta Braves started in Boston. One of the Boston teams was called the Beaneaters. Eating beans doesn’t make me think of baseball.
Another Brooklyn team was called the Bridegrooms. That’s what they call a man getting married at a wedding. Or how about the team that played one year called the Chicago Whales?
Some famous teams did not start with their current names. The New York Yankees are probably the most famous MLB team in the world. The team started in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles moved to New York City in 1903 and changed their name to the New York Highlanders. The team became the Yankees before the 1913 season.
The Boston Red Sox were once called the Boston Americans. And the Chicago Cubs were once called the Chicago Orphans.
The Cleveland owners could reach back to the names of old Cleveland baseball teams. From 1889 to 1899 there was a team called the Cleveland Spiders.
That name may be bad luck. In their last season, the Spiders were one of the worst teams in history with a record of 20-134 (20 wins and 134 losses).
Cleveland also had professional teams called the Infants and the Naps (after star second baseman Nap Lajoie). But those names sound like the team is full of babies.
There was a Cleveland team in the Negro Leagues. Those were the leagues African Americans formed when Whites did not allow Blacks to play in the MLB National and American Leagues. The Negro League team was called the Buckeyes.
The Cleveland Buckeyes. I think that sounds better than the Cleveland Indians.