Baseball To Destroy These Pieces Of World Series Memorabilia

Here’s another reason you won’t be able to find Cleveland Indians’ World Series Champion merchandise

The wonderful mocked up some what-might-have-been examples of Indians’ championship merchandise.

The destruction of the Cleveland Indians’ World Series hopes preceded the destruction of their World Series Championship merchandise.

Moments after winning the World Series, Chicago Cubs players adorned hats and shirts proclaiming them baseball’s 2016 champions. Stadium vendors—inside and out—had Chicago Cubs: World Series Champions merchandise at the ready, available to the purchasing public.

Clearly Major League Baseball and its licensed apparel partners didn’t know whether the Cubs or Indians would win Game 7 last week in Cleveland. Baseball, along with all other major sports, readies championship merchandise for both teams. And when the victor is determined, that version of the merchandise is made available.

As for the rest? It typically gets shipped off to Central or South America, Africa, or some other place far away from the 50 states. Seriously.

Organizations such as World Vision partner with leagues and their licensees in shipping the losing team’s championship merchandise to remote locales with needy populations in an effort to a) provide clothing where it might be needed, and b) to ensure the merchandise doesn’t surface in U.S. markets.

So in years past, it might have been possible to find that season’s version of a Cleveland Indians: World Series Champions hat in, say, Nicaragua. But not this year.

MLB has decided to destroy the Indians’ World Series winners gear rather than donate it.

“We have moved our policy to destroying the merchandise,” MLB’s Matt Bourne told The Huffington Post. “The reason is to protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available or visible in the general marketplace.”

The practice of organizations—including, but also well beyond sports leagues—sending clothing to developing countries as an act of charity has had the unintended side effect of damaging the local manufacturing economies in some of those nations. It has become enough of an issue that some East African nations want to ban the import of second-hand clothing.

Bourne wouldn’t attribute MLB’s decision to the import issue. He also could not indicate, according to The Huffington Post, how the merchandise would be destroyed.

It’s further unclear whether ongoing controversy over the team’s Chief Wahoo logo and MLB’s plans to address the issue with Indians ownership played a role in shutting down distribution of the merchandise.

Regardless of reason or method, MLB is destroying Cleveland fans’ hopes of scoring some black-market title swag—even if they would have had to travel to locales like Nicaragua to get it.


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