CLEVELAND- The Cleveland Indians' gradual evolution away from the familiar Chief Wahoo mascot appears to have made its way to the baseball card industry.
Under pressure to separate itself from the age-old mascot by individuals who have made a public appeal claiming it to be offensive, the team now calls the 'Block C' its primary logo.
But baseball card companies, including Topps, which is one of the largest, have included the logo along with players' images for years.
This year, however, the card company appears not to be airbrushing the logo from the players photographs, but it seems to be intentionally shelving the logo in favor of the block C elsewhere on its cards.
A 2017 Francisco Lindor card, for example, has no reference whatsoever to the old mascot, whereas an older Charles Nagy card not only pictured Nagy with Chief Wahoo on his cap and sleeve, the mascot was imprinted on the front of the card in an oval just above his name.
Topps company executives did not return repeated calls from Fox 8 on Monday.
The Cleveland Indians are not commenting.
But Bill Panchak, the owner of Medina Sports Cards says he has seen the movement away from Chief Wahoo on recent cards and believes it to be in response to the company's relationship with Major League Baseball.
"Its been gradual because we hear about it all the time that major league baseball is trying to get them away from the Chief Wahoo logo for the past few years," said Panchak.
Topps has an official license with MLB to represent its teams and players.
Collectors have noticed too, but say it really does not impact the value of the cards to them.
Noah Mowry collects baseball cards and tells Fox 8 that he never chooses a card based on the team's logo or the mascot.
"Different players that are really good make them special, also like autographs and jersey cards, like they will put a little cut of the jersey inside the card, those are pretty special," said Mowry.
Panchak says the move away from the Chief Wahoo logo might ultimately give other collectible items greater demand because they will become harder and harder to get. The baseball cards are all about the player who is on the card and what they have been able to do.
He understands that fans have strong opinions and emotions about the mascot, but he doesn't believe collectors should be too surprised if it vanishes from baseball cards.
"You hear both sides of it but in the long run it won't affect the value of the cards at all."