Baseball fans in Ohio can cheer for this tribe. The Cleveland Indians Baseball Company owns and operates that city's storied baseball franchise, a charter member of the American League dating back to 1901. Originally known as the Bluebirds, the franchise adopted the Indians nickname in 1915 and went on to win five league pennants and two World Series championships, its last in 1948. The team plays host at Progressive Field. Ohio lawyer Lawrence Dolan, whose family controls Madison Square Garden and cable TV giant Cablevision, has owned the Indians franchise since 2000.
Under manager Eric Wedge, Cleveland ended a six-year post-season drought in 2007, reaching the league championship series. (The Indians lost that series to the Boston Red Sox, however.)
Cleveland inked a $57 million, 16-year marketing deal with The Progressive Corporation in 2008 to rename the team's stadium. Previously the facility had been called Jacobs Field ("The Jake") in honor of former owner Richard Jacobs.
Dolan bought the team for $323 million from Jacobs, who had controlled the franchise since 1986. A real estate tycoon, Jacobs bought the Indians with his brother and invested heavily to produce a playoff team. In 1998, with the IPO craze getting under way, he sold a portion of the franchise to the public, raising about $60 million. Jacobs died in 2009.
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