Indians no more: Cleveland MLB team to be called 'Guardians'

FILE - A Cleveland Indians jersey hangs at the Cleveland Indians team shop in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced
FILE - A Cleveland Indians jersey hangs at the Cleveland Indians team shop in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced

Name will change after 2021 season.

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 12:10 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday — effective at the end of the 2021 season — with a video on Twitter narrated by actor and team fan Tom Hanks. The decision ends months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to drop logos and names considered racist.

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club’s die-hard fans, some of whom quickly went on social media to vent.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process, which the club said included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans.

Owner Paul Dolan said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the name.

Dolan is expected to provide more details on the choice and background on the change at a news conference at Progressive Field before the Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dolan said the new name mirrors the city and its people.

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us.”

“It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

The change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. The franchise dropped its Redskins name before the 2020 season. Washington recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

Cleveland's new name was inspired by two large landmark stone edifices near the downtown ballpark — referred to as traffic guardians — on the Hope Memorial Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

The team's colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians’ new logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.

In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that was protested for decades by Native American groups.

Numerous Native American groups have protested Cleveland’s use of the Wahoo logo and Indians name for years, so the latest development brought some comfort.

"It is a major step towards righting the wrongs committed against Native peoples, and is one step towards justice,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director and founder of IllumiNative, a group dedicated to fighting misrepresentations of Native Americans.

The name change has sparked lively debate among the city’s passionate sports fans. Other names, including the Spiders, which is what the team was called before 1900, were pushed by supporters on social media platforms.

But Guardians does seem to fit the team’s objective to find a name that embodies Cleveland’s hard-working, loyal, Midwestern-valued ethos while preserving the team’s history and uniting the community.

The rebranding comes as the Indians, who have one of baseball's lowest payrolls, try to stay in contention despite a slew of injuries as the July 30 trading deadline approaches.

“This is a historic moment for our franchise, and we are excited for our players and staff to debut our new team name and look in 2022,” said Chris Antonetti, the club's president of baseball operations. “We look forward to our team proudly representing the city of Cleveland as the Guardians.”

Guardians is the fifth name in franchise history joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021).

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 8076
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1403921855
Ramsey58542944
Dakota52093497
Anoka48037479
Washington30637309
Stearns24839240
St. Louis20269335
Scott19626145
Wright18499163
Olmsted15792110
Sherburne13522100
Carver1206952
Clay915295
Rice9104120
Blue Earth866347
Crow Wing7797102
Kandiyohi744188
Chisago711658
Otter Tail666691
Benton6439101
Mower558038
Winona554452
Goodhue550080
Douglas535484
Itasca516671
Beltrami504672
McLeod501463
Steele500921
Isanti490170
Morrison467563
Nobles448650
Becker434559
Polk433675
Freeborn429538
Lyon394254
Carlton389559
Nicollet377647
Pine373726
Mille Lacs354360
Brown346443
Cass343035
Le Sueur340829
Todd321734
Meeker304749
Waseca288625
Martin261933
Wabasha24334
Dodge24064
Hubbard232241
Roseau231723
Houston203816
Renville199548
Redwood198242
Fillmore194710
Pennington190221
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Faribault179725
Cottonwood176624
Sibley175810
Chippewa171239
Kanabec164129
Aitkin155038
Watonwan155011
Rock138519
Jackson134712
Pope13058
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Pipestone125026
Swift117119
Koochiching116519
Murray115110
Stevens112211
Marshall103518
Clearwater101918
Lake91021
Wilkin89614
Lac qui Parle84824
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Grant6718
Lincoln6524
Norman6509
Kittson53322
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Cook2120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 432122

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Unassigned57410
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
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Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
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Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
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Monroe114033
Ida107538
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Lucas94523
Worth9268
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Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
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