CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians will become the Cleveland Guardians at the end of the 2021 season after the team announced an official name change Friday morning.
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The team posted a video to social media confirming Guardians was the chosen nickname for the club. The name change will become official for the 2022 season.
The Guardians name derives from the “Guardians of Traffic” sculptures on the Hope Memorial Bridge near Progressive Field. The sculptures are mean to symbolize progress, according to a team media report.
“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,” Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said in a media release.
The team announced in 2020 they would review the use of the nickname after being known as the Indians since 1915. In December, club leadership announced they will begin a search for a new nickname.
“The name change process started in June 2020 with a statement acknowledging the importance of taking a leadership role in uniting our community,” the team spokesperson said. “We conducted an extensive multi-phase process to learn how the team name ‘Indians’ impacted different constituencies and how it intersected with our organizational values.”
Guardians was chosen after 40,000 fans were surveyed, including 140 hours of interviews with fans, staff, and community members.
“Through our research and discussions, we identified a few key themes that were most important to fans – connect to the city of Cleveland, honor our rich baseball history and unite our community – and we believe Guardians upholds all three of those pillars,” President of Business Operations Brian Barren said in the release.
Many elements about the team’s look will remain similar, including the team colors, the script wordmark on home jerseys that have been in place for 75 years will remain but updated to Guardians, and Cleveland will remain on the road uniforms, a team spokesperson said in the media release.
Some elements that have evolved include the introduction of the “Diamond C” a chance from the “Block C” currently used on hats and helmets. The new design is heavily inspired by the “Guardians of Traffic” sculptures, team representatives said.
We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.
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