Cleveland Indians Logo
⚾ MLB: 1894-2020 127 2
One of the eight original American League teams beginning with the 1901 season.
Cleveland Browns Logo
🏈 NFL: 1946-2020 75 8
The Cleveland Browns franchise was founded in 1945 by Brown and businessman Arthur B. McBride as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns dominated the AAFC, compilin...
Cleveland Cavaliers Logo
The team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield C...

Defunct Teams

Teams that have folded or moved away from the Cleveland area.
F i l t e r   &   S o r t 
Cleveland Barons Logo
NHL: 1977-1978 2
Franchise merged with the Minnesota North Stars on June 14, 1978. The merged team retained the North Stars name, colors, and history, and remained in Minnesota.
Cleveland Crusaders Logo
Crusaders were forced out of Cleveland in 1976 after the NHL moved into the city. The team was going to relocate to Florida but eventually moved to Minnesota as the Fighting Saints
Cleveland Buckeyes Logo
Initially switching between Cincinnati, Meadville, and Cleveland for home games, eventually moved permanently to Cleveland and played in League Park, where it won 2 championships and a Colored World Series
Toledo Jeeps Logo
🏀 NBL: 1941-1948 8
The Toledo Jeeps were a professional basketball team that played in the National Basketball League from 1946 to 1948. As with many other NBL teams, they owed their name to an industry of their hometow...
Youngstown Bears Logo
The Youngstown Bears were a basketball team based in Youngstown, Ohio. They played two seasons (1945–1947) in the National Basketball League, before disbanding due to poor performances. ...
Cleveland Allmen Transfers Logo
The Cleveland Chase Brassmen were an American professional basketball team that played in the National Basketball League during the 1943–44 season but was known as the Cleveland Allmen Transfers from ...
Cleveland Rams Logo
🏈 NFL: 1936-1945 10 1
The franchise began in 1936 as the Cleveland Rams, based in Cleveland, Ohio. The club was owned by Homer Marshman and featured players such as William "Bud" Cooper, Harry "The Horse" Mattos, Stan Pinc...
Akron Goodyear Wingfoots Logo
The Akron Goodyear Wingfoots are one of the oldest basketball teams in the United States. They were founded in 1918, by the workers at the Goodyear Tire Company, in Akron, Ohio. The teams, while givin...
Akron Firestone Non-Skids Logo
The Akron Firestone Non-Skids were an American professional basketball team based in Akron, Ohio. The team was one of the thirteen founding members of the National Basketball League (NBL), which forme...
Cleveland Bears Logo
The team was based in Jacksonville, Florida playing at Durkee Field in 1938. They moved to Cleveland in 1939 and became the Cleveland Bears, playing their home games at Hardware Field. They returned to Jacksonville as the Red Caps in 1941.
Toledo Crawfords Logo
Members of the short-lived and mysterious USNL developed by Branch Rickey prior to integration of blacks in baseball.
Cleveland White Horses Logo
The Detroit Eagles were a professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. Managed by Dutch Dehnert, they played in the National Basketball League from 1939 to 1941, then became a barnstorming...
Toledo Crimson Coaches Logo
The Toledo Redmen were an American basketball team based in Toledo, Ohio that was a member of the National Basketball League and the American Basketball League. For the 1930/31 season, the team was k...
Cleveland Cubs Logo
The team's origins lie in two local negro amateur baseball teams: the Nashville Maroons and the Elites. The Giants welcomed any competition, including white-only teams, but played independently of any leagues until the mid-1920s.
Cleveland Rosenblums Logo
The Cleveland Rosenblums (also known as the Rosies) were an American basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio that was one of the original members of the American Basketball League. The Rosenblums pla...
Cleveland Bulldogs Logo
The Cleveland Bulldogs were a team that played in Cleveland, Ohio in the National Football League. They were originally called the Indians in 1923, not to be confused with the Cleveland Indians NFL fr...
Cleveland Panthers Logo
The Panthers competed in the first American Football League (AFL), founded by Charles "Cash and Carry" Pyle (1882–1939), in 1926. The Panthers, owned by General Charles X. Zimmerman (1865–1926) (the v...
Akron Indians Logo
🏈 NFL: 1908-1926 19 5
The Akron Pros were a professional football team that played in Akron, Ohio, from 1908 to 1926. The team originated in 1908 as a semi-pro team named the Akron Indians, but later became Akron Pros in 1...
Canton Bulldogs Logo
🏈 NFL: 1905-1926 22 5
The Canton Bulldogs were a professional American football team, based in Canton, Ohio. They played in the Ohio League from 1903 to 1906 and 1911 to 1919, and the American Professional Football Associa...
Cleveland Tate Stars Logo
Played as an independent team from 1919 through 1921, and joined the Negro National League in 1922 where they finished last of eight clubs. The franchise folded a year later.
Toledo Maroons Logo
🏈 NFL: 1910-1923 14
The Toledo Maroons were a professional American football team based in Toledo, Ohio in the National Football League in 1922 and 1923. Prior to joining the NFL, the Maroons played in the unofficial "Oh...
Cleveland Tigers Logo
The Cleveland Indians football team was originally established in 1916 and played in the Ohio League. The team was formed after the Massillon Tigers raided the Akron Indians roster in 1915 and took aw...
Massillon Tigers Logo
🏈 OL: 1903-1919 17 5
The Massillon Tigers were an early professional football team from Massillon, Ohio. Playing in the "Ohio League", the team was a rival to the pre-National Football League version of the Canton Bulldog...
Shelby Blues Logo
🏈 OL: 1902-1919 18 2
The Shelby Blues were an American football team based in Shelby, Ohio. The team played in the Ohio League from 1900 to 1919. In 1920, when the Ohio League became the APFA (now known as the National Fo...
Youngstown Patricians Logo
The Youngstown Patricians were a semi-professional football team based in Youngstown, Ohio. In the 1910s, the team briefly held the professional football championship and established itself as a fierc...
Cleveland Green Sox Logo
Cleveland Indians owner proceeded to move Toledo Mud Hens to Cleveland in order to prevent the Green Sox from continuing in the city. Dropped from the league before the 1914 season.
Cleveland Spiders Logo
⚾ NL: 1887-1899 13 1
Left the American Association to join the National League to begin the 1889 season. Folded at the end of the 1899 season when the National League contracted back to 8 teams.
Cleveland Infants Logo
Team disbanded after the Players League folded following the 1890 season.
Cleveland Blues Logo
⚾ NL: 1879-1884 6
After 6 years in the National League, the franchise folded and sold all player contracts to the Brooklyn Grays following the 1884 season.
Cleveland Forest Citys Logo
After 2 years in the National Association, the franchise folded following the 1872 season.
The early history of sports contains hundreds of teams that appeared for only 1 or 2 seasons before folding. Most of these teams have no historical photographs or articles, so are omitted from this list to reduce clutter. To view a comprehensive list of all defunct teams, browse to the early leagues section for baseball, football, basketball, or hockey.
Subscribe to our Sports History Newsletter

LEAVE A COMMENT