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Updated: July 23, 2021
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Cleveland Indians changes name to Cleveland Guardians in 2022

CLEVELAND, Ohio (USA) - Major League-club Cleveland Indians will be known as Cleveland Guardians from the 2022 season on. The name-change was announced on Friday-morning (July 23).

Guardians will be the fifth name of the club. When the franchise was established in 1901, it played under the name 'Blues' (or Bluebirds), but that was changed to 'Bronchos' for the following season.

Another change followed in 1903 when the team was known as 'Naps' in the next twelve seasons (1903-1914). This was named after the first name of then playing Manager Nap(oleon) Lajoie (the team's best player), whose popularity led to the name-change. He played for Cleveland as second baseman in 1902-1914 and was the Manager in 1904-1909. Lajoie was the Best Hitter in the American League five times, four of them playing for Cleveland.

When Lajoie left after the 1914 season, 'Indians' became the new name of the club. But after being known as Cleveland Indians for 107 years (1915-2021), the club will play in the Major League as Cleveland Guardians, beginning in 2022. The name 'Guardians' is a reference to the sculptures Guardians of Traffic, which are located on Hope Memorial Bridge, which leads up to Progressive Field, the home-stadium of the club. The bridge, which was completed in 1932, crosses Cuyahoga River. The art deco-style statues, which were the inspiration for the new name and were designed by Henry Hering and Frank Walker, stand on pylons at each end of the bridge.

...Announcement of name-change...
In a news release on Friday, Team Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said: ,,We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland. 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. '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''.

Although the name will change, the colors of the uniforms and logos, which have been part of the club for more than 80 years, remain the same.

In the press release, the club added that ''the name change process started in June 2020 with a statement acknowledging the importance of taking a leadership role in uniting our community''.

Brian Barren, President of Business Operations, stated: ,,Since the announcement to change the name in December, our team has been hard at work to ensure we pick a name that our community, fans, partners, employees and players will be proud to have represent Cleveland Baseball. 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''.

When the club announced its new name, it also released a video, which was narrated by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks.

(July 23)

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