“Dewey Defeats Truman” – again

In the just-published, most recent print Gateway Journalism Review, my editor’s column opined it now was time, in the wake of the Cleveland Indians winning baseball’s 2016 World Series, for the media to stop using the name Indians and the team’s offensive Chief Wahoo logo.

In the column I said the Cleveland Indians “might best celebrate by turning over a new leaf and shedding their name and logo.” I urged the Indians’ owners to consider instead the name Cleveland Spiders, a previous 19th century name of the team.

But if the northern Ohio baseball franchise owners still decided to keep the current name and racist logo, I urged sports pages and sports reporters to no longer use the name and logo, and that the media also eliminate the professional sports team nicknames Chiefs, Braves and Redskins.

The only problem was that the low-budget Indians did not win this year’s championship, losing in the 10th inning of game seven, just as it had done to another deep-pockets team 19 years earlier. And in my eagerness to make GJR’s deadline with the strongest possible column as the magazine went to the printers in the midst of the World Series, I crossed my fingers and prematurely crowned my home-town team the winner. Clearly, I should have heeded the admonition of former New York Yankee’s catcher Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

I thus apologize to all my Chicago Cubs friends, colleagues and students for such unprofessional, inaccurate, published wishful thinking.

My only conceivable consolation is knowing that such an infamous error may have last occurred in 1948 when the Chicago Daily Tribune (now the Chicago Tribune) boldly headlined the lead story in its first (one-star) edition, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” And 1948 was the same year in which the Cleveland Indians truly won their last World Series title. Sigh…


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