Cleveland's baseball team announced that they would change their team name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians going into effect at the end of the 2021 baseball season. This is a change a year in the making since it was announced back in 2020 the intention to change the team's name in the wake of the George Floyd protests and other major sports teams changing their names, like the Washington Football team.
Since the announcement, the organization has spent the past year going through a list of 1,200 potential names. In this process, they spent hundreds of hours interviewing fans, community members and leaders, and workers in the organization and surveying 40,000 fans to end up on the name Cleveland Guardians.
"Guardians" come from the large 43-foot statues outside of the ballpark that watch over the Hope Memorial Bridge. These "Guardians of Traffic" symbolize progress, something that the organization is working towards.
"We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland," Paul Dolan, the owner of the team, said in a statement. "Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency, and loyalty of Clevelanders."
While the team colors will remain the same, the new name will be followed by a new design for the team logo that will feature the Hope Memorial Bridge.
"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," president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said in a statement. "We look forward to our team proudly representing the city of Cleveland as the Guardians."
This name change aims to reflect the 3 goals that the organization had going into revamping the name and logo, which are to connect to the city of Cleveland, honor their rich baseball history, and unite their community.