The Cleveland Indians' wide-eyed, grinning "Chief Wahoo" logo will head to the new Gateway stadium in 1994, but the most prominent replica of the team's symbol won't make the 10-block move.
While the logo will be moving to Gateway, team owner Richard Jacobs said the 48-feet wide, 28-feet high "Chief Wahoo" sign on Cleveland Stadium will stay put. The team also will stick with the Indians' name.The sign erected in 1962 originally was lit by neon but now has flood lights.
The Save Our Chief group, which collected 10,000 signatures in support of the logo, has begun looking for a museum or other suitable place for the sign.
The team hasn't sanctioned the search and hasn't said what will become of the sign, which shows "Wahoo" batting.
American Indian groups had lobbied the team for years to drop the beet-red logo as a racially insensitive caricature demeaning to Indians.
Richard Morales, Cleveland regional representative for the American Indian Intertribal Association, a non-profit social service agency, called "Wahoo" a "Red Sambo" similar to the "Little Black Sambo" character that blacks consider offensive.
"We feel they should get another name," Morales said Thursday. "Maybe things would improve for the team."
The Indians have not won an American League pennant since 1954.
Clark Hosick of Alaska's Tlingit tribe said Thursday the American Indian community would press its protests against the use of the logo.
"The logo is still insulting," said Hosick, executive director of the North American Indian Cultural Center, a non-profit social service organization in Akron.
Hosick said the Indians' name and logo encouraged stereotyped comments, like "the Indians scalped" another team.