CLEVELAND (WJW) – From jerseys to T-shirts to baseball caps, plenty of Cleveland Indians merchandise is still on store shelves throughout Northeast Ohio, including at “Playball & More” inside Tower City in downtown Cleveland.
“I am selling it, I will sell it and I think we have a mixed amount of customers, most of them, they are excited with the new name,” said owner Johnny Mirza.
Playball Sports and Fashion has been a Tower City staple for more than two decades. It survived the pandemic and everyone from LeBron to Kyrie to Cleveland Indians players has shopped here.
The paraphernalia is MLB official and unofficial, with some merchandise still displaying the teams’ former Chief Wahoo logo.
“I’ve got to start collecting because that logo is what I grew up on, I”m part Native American,” said fan Andre Hamilton. “I just gotta accept [the name change]. Everything has to change for the better, right?”
Known as the Indians since 1915, fans will soon have to get used to saying the Cleveland Guardians after the 2021 season.
Last Friday, the ball club announced to the world the name change with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks. It ended months of internal discussions, triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.
“The Indians have just been a long time and I don’t really like the Guardians, but it’s not my choice, you know?” fan Chris Marn said.
The new official MLB Cleveland Guardians merchandise is expected to hit store shelves and online sometime in January 2022.