Farewell, Wahoo

Cleveland was typically gray, but Wahoo was bright red with a white, toothy smile — he was so happy. That’s all I saw as a kid. Happiness. I loved Wahoo because I loved baseball and, in my hometown, the two went together.

I think that’s why the fury to keep Wahoo long after it made any sense sizzled the way it did. In Cleveland, we didn’t think of Wahoo as a nasty caricature of an indigenous people’s culture — with that feather coming out of his head and that blood-red face and body and that big nose and … Wahoo IS a nasty caricature of an indigenous people’s culture, but we didn’t think of him like that.

No, we thought of Wahoo as baseball, as Cleveland baseball, as Sunday doubleheaders, as cheers and the unmistakable smell of stale beer and impossibly colorful afternoons after long workdays in dim factories and a ground ball to Buddy Bell at third, this one’s going to be close, oh, what a throw, got him by an eyelash!

Source: Joe Posnanski, JoeBlogs

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