Hat tip to author Ed Rice and Cleveland VP of Public Affairs Bob DiBiaso: I mentioned in my story about Louis Sockalexis and the naming of the Indians that I could not find Sockalexis named a single time in the 1915 newspapers I searched. That included more than 300 papers around the country.
As it turns out, my search engine did not include the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In an editorial on the day after the team was named Indians, it turns out that Sockalexis very specifically was mentioned in an editorial under a headline “Looking Backward.”
Here is the item in full:
So, there was, in fact, a direct connection from Indians to Sockalexis. I still don’t think the team was named Indians for him or to honor him as the story often goes, but I do think he was the key reason why the Cleveland National League team was often called “Indians” unofficially. And I think that was at least one reason why the name Indians was chosen in 1915.
Chasing history is pretty cool.