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Indians going patchless in 2020

The ugly guitar patch is gone for good, at least

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Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

In a statement to The Athletic, the Indians offered a tepid look at their uniform plans going forward while also leaving the door open for more changes later on.

While we continue to evaluate the potential of introducing another alternate logo, we have elected not to replace the All-Star Game patch on the jersey for the 2020 season. We are one of five teams to not have a sleeve patch on any of our jersey tops, and one of eight teams to not have a patch on at least one of our jersey tops.

Further on in talking to The Athletic, Indians Vice President of Public Affairs Bob DiBiasio said that the potential for a new logo is “up for debate.” It certainly doesn’t sound like the team is in any rush to actually brand (or re-brand) and have an identity anytime soon.

Last season, their first ditching their controversial Chief Wahoo logo for ... nothing, the Indians opted to wear a gaudy white guitar patch on the sleeve of their jerseys to commemorate the All-Star Game being in Cleveland. It also served as a reminder — in case you forgot — that Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and apparently nothing else worth commemorating.

This isn’t the first time in recent history the Tribe will be without a patch, either. Last September, the team opted to use Wahoo-free uniforms for a series in Toronto amid backlash over the logo. That look included a Block C hat, which they ended up wearing for all of 2019, and a patchless jersey sleeve, which we’ll be seeing in 2020.

It’s admittedly a difficult position for the Indians to be in, brand-wise, if they are really dedicated to keeping the name and not moving away from Native American imagery full-stop. They clearly cannot take any steps toward anything resembling their logos of the past or referencing their team name, but if their plan is to eventually move away from being the “Indians” all they’ve done to this point is drag their feet and make the situation worse by refusing to just rip the bandaid off and be done with it.