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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Indians new name is . . . The Guardians.
The Indians announced the new name on Twitter on Friday morning. They have been called the Indians since 1915.
The franchise announced the name change in a video narrated by Cleveland baseball fan Tom Hanks with music supplied by The Black Keys from the Akron area. There will be a press conference on Friday afternoon at Progressive Field to officially announce the name change.
In a release announcing the name change, owner Paul Dolan explained why the name Guardians was chosen.
“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” said Dolan. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. 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 organization announced that the team colors will remain the same. They also said that the script on the uniforms will be similar to the style that it has featured for the last 75 years. The road uniforms will still bear the name Cleveland with the Guardians script on the home uniforms.
In surveys and focus groups with fans, according to Dolan, two themes resonated. The name Guardians was well received and all fans questioned wanted to keep the Indians’ colors — red, white and blue.
Regarding the new “Diamond C” that will be the team’s logo, the organization said “it will be an evolution of the Block C and respects the tradition and heritage of Cleveland Baseball. The new C stands tall – just as the Guardians of Traffic stand watch over our ballpark and city – and draws from the ascending diamond motifs at the top of each Guardian pylon. The weight of the C is bold and its tapered shape is inspired by letterforms from the 1920 and 1948 World Series clubs.”
The organization announced the the new logomark will be the Guardian’s Fastball. The team said it “embodies what it means to be a Cleveland Guardian in its strong, yet simple design. It is inspired by the helmets and wings of the Hope Memorial Bridge’s Guardian statues and the G purposefully wraps around and guards the baseball. The split-finger design is a tribute to our strong pitching heritage.”
Said Chris Antonetti, Indians president of baseball operations, “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. We look forward to our team proudly representing the city of Cleveland as the Guardians. Our club will strive to unite and inspire our entire community.”
The club will finish the 2021 season as the Cleveland Indians and will look to launch as the Cleveland Guardians at the conclusion of the season.
When team owner Paul Dolan announced his intention to change the name of the franchise in December of 2020 Dolan said he hoped to have the new name in place for the 2022 season. He has met that goal.
The Indians will remain the Indians until the end of the current season. After the season, the organization will start making the physical changes at Progressive Field and their spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz., to move from the Indians to the Guardians.
In June the Indians announced that they had considered a list of almost 1,100 names and were in the process of whittling it down. They revealed the process they’ve gone through to reach a new name.
In July of 2020 the Indians announced that they were considering a name change. This came during the social unrest that swept the country following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.
It also followed the announcement that the NFL Washington Redskins, under pressure from their sponsors, were going to change their name.
The Indians, at the time, said they wanted to become an organization that could bring Cleveland and its citizens together, but that was hard to do with a team name that has caused division instead of unity throughout the years.
In 2018 the Indians discontinued their use of Chief Wahoo, a logo that many felt was demeaning to Native Americans.
Hanks, an Oscar winning actor, cut his teeth at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Theatre in Cleveland. He could often be found at Municipal Stadium watching the Indians play. He has been a long-time friend of the Indians organization.
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