MLB to destroy, not donate, Indians championship gear

Cleveland Indians fan Jim Stamper holds a sign during a watch party for Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Indians and the Chicago Cubs, outside Progressive Field, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
Cleveland Indians fan Jim Stamper holds a sign during a watch party for Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Indians and the Chicago Cubs, outside Progressive Field, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Clothing and other items celebrating a 2016 Cleveland Indians World Series championship that never happened will be destroyed instead of donated to those in need.

Championship merchandise is produced for both teams when a major title is on the line so items can be immediately sold to the winning team’s fans. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Indians in the Series last week.

ESPN and The Huffington Post report Major League Baseball is asking retailers to give back Indians championship gear so it can be destroyed. MLB had donated clothing to needy countries through the charity World Vision since 2005.

MLB says it has opted to destroy the items this year in order to “protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available in the general marketplace.”