Scenes from Spring Training: My annual Chief Wahoo observation
That block C is on the wall outside of the front door of the Indians’ complex here in Goodyear. Note: it’s not a Chief Wahoo.
Indeed, you have to look pretty hard to find a Chief Wahoo around here. There’s a picture of the 1995 ALCS celebration in the lobby, and there are Wahoos on those caps. Fans who show up here for games wear the Chief. But there is a conspicuous absence of Chief Wahoo on team property, on team employees’ clothes and that sort of thing.
The best explanation I’ve heard for that is that here in the southwest there is a much larger Indian population than there is back in Ohio and that not putting up a big racist, comically-exaggerated red-faced logo of an Indian is simply a matter of common courtesy.
My own theory -- which I liked better a couple of years ago than I do now -- was that the team itself was making a conscious effort to downplay Chief Wahoo, and that they were starting a slow effort of phasing him out here at the spring training complex. I like it as a theory less now because it doesn’t seem to, you know, be happening.
I know I talk about this once a year whether I need to or not -- and I know it’s going to lead to the same get-us-nowhere arguments in the comments -- but even after all of these years I can’t get over the fact that a Major League team still uses a blatant racist caricature as an official logo. And that so many fans tolerate it.