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The recent discussions surrounding the possible name-changes of the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers got me thinking about teams that changed their name without relocating. You could think of this as the sequel to a thread I did on here ~6 weeks ago, for teams that kept their nickname after relocating. https://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/121884-teams-that-relocated-but-kept-their-nickname/ Before I begin, I wanted to clarify some of my ground-rules: 1. If a team changed names multiple times, they were evaluated as a group. 2. On the flip side, teams were only allowed one pre-WWI name change. I don't intend to write about the 8 name changes the Dodgers went through in their first 30 years. 3. The teams have to have been in the top league (or co-top league) at the time of the name change and the franchise must still be in existence. 4. This does not include identifier/location changes without moving (think what the Angels have been doing). However, if a team changed both the location and nickname without moving they count (This only happens once). I found 32 eligible changes from the 5 major-leagues + plus surviving AFL, ABA, and WHA teams. 4 of these will be unranked because they deal with Native American team names and I don't want this thread to end up locked. Also, a word on how I'm "grading" the changes. In general, I'm trying to view things as when the change happened. Some brands may have gone on to become iconic, but are near the bottom (7 of the most iconic baseball nicknames occupy the bottom 9 spots. Side note, this list is very baseball heavy with 13 teams), others near the top, not so much. I usually look a the following things when evaluating the change: 1. Why did they get rid of the old name? Esp. Did the fans want a new name? 2. How much did people like the old name? Was it around for 10 years and the only name the team had known? Was it only there for a year and the latest in a long string of changes? How successful was the team with the old name? 3. How much better is the new name? Does it have historical significance? Is it unique? Does it tie into the area? Note: Of the 32 teams I ranked, I think 31 of them were an improvement. When teams rebrand, they set out to make themselves seem better, not worse. The real question is, who did it best? The unranked teams will be up shortly.
Hello all, I figured I would rank the all of the franchises in major pro sports that relocated, but kept their nickname. There are 26 of these, but one franchise relocated twice with different nicknames (i.e. move and keep name, then move and change name, then move and keep name). I also decided that teams that relocated multiple times with the same nickname would count as one (i.e. move and keep name, move again and keep name). I ranked these teams 1-25 on how well the nickname translates to the new city and will be counting down over the next few days. I will start with the one team that I left unranked. Each franchise will have a write-up along with it, some are a few sentences, while some of the more interesting ones are a bit longer. Now for the first franchise. Unranked Boston Redskins → Washington Redskins In an effort to steer clear of a MOD EDIT, the most controversial nickname in pro sports, which unsurprisingly has a controversial origin, will remain unranked. The team was founded in Boston as the Braves, named after the MLB team, whose stadium they played in. The team dropped the Braves moniker when they moved crosstown to Fenway Park after one year. Why the team picked Redskins is unclear. It was long hypothesized that it was to honor coach William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz. Dietz attended Chiloco Native American Boarding School, coached at Haskell Institute, and was married to a Ho-Chunk woman, but was himself White. He claimed to be Native American himself and his registering as one on his draft card piqued the attention of the FBI. Dietz was charged with identity theft (having assumed the name James One Star, an Oglala man who had been missing in Cuba for almost 20 years). The trial resulted in a hung jury after Dietz’s mom testified that her dead husband was Native American. He was later charged again and spent 30 days in jail. Dietz was only hired by Boston after being fired from Purdue for NCAA violations. Later in life, Dietz claimed to be a Sioux man, who had been born in South Dakota. His tombstone claims that he was born in South Dakota, despite his birth certificate saying Rice Lake, WI. Despite his almost certainly White ancestry, he is considered an Indian athlete by the team, and despite his controversial life, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Other theories on how the team acquired its moniker include that it was honoring a different Native American on the team, but no one is quite sure who, or that it was a combination of Braves, their old nickname, and Red Sox, their new landlords. Either way, the team kept the nickname after relocating to Boston. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the controversy surrounding this name. Washington is not alone in its use of the moniker; it is believed that 47 high schools (including 2 with majority Native student bodies) in 19 states use the nickname for their athletic programs. A trademark for the nickname was revoked in 2014 after a lawsuit, but was restored in 2017 after an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The city of Washington DC has made clear that any move back into the city (the team currently plays in Landover, MD) will only be allowed after a name change. However, Washington owner Daniel Snyder has stated that “We'll never change the name ... It's that simple. NEVER - you can use caps”. Of course controversy is nothing new to the organization. The team was the last to integrate in the NFL, 16 years after the Rams, and only after the threat of federal intervention. So, who knows what the future holds. TL;DR: The Redskins were either named after a White Man masquerading as a Native American, an unnamed Native player, or a cross between Braves and Red Sox. In order to avoid a MOD EDIT I decided not to rank it or give my opinion. This is also far and away my longest section. Most are about a third of this size.