Shocker: a team named the “Indians” uses a respectful, non-racist logo

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Not Cleveland, of course. It’s Spokane of the class-A Northwest League, which is an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. They have eschewed offensive caricatures and misplaced iconography for years, but now they have taken it one step further: their primary logo — developed in consultation with the Spokane Indian tribe — is now an “S” with “Spokane Indians” spelled out in the Salish language of the Spokane people.

There was a story about it in Indian Country Today at the end of December, talking about how and why it came about. Amazingly, it involved reasonable people doing reasonable things like not trafficking on racist logos and stereotypes and being respectful of one another. Imagine.

Of course the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and other teams with racist overtones to their Native American mascots and logos couldn’t possibly do this. It’d be unthinkable. For some reason.

(thanks to Rob Neyer for the heads up)

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.