CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Indians are now the Cleveland Guardians.
The baseball club announced the team’s new name Friday with a video highlighting the history of Cleveland. Actor Tom Hanks narrated the video, which also featured The Black Keys, formed in Akron.
The new name is a nod to the statues along the Hope Memorial Bridge.
The video says in part:
“We hold tight to our roots and set our sights on tomorrow. And this is our team that has stood with our city for more than a century. From old municipal to the corner of Carnegie. A team that has seen its own progress and prosperity. Its history flows like the river through the heart of this city. The history that has given us miraculous moments, moments that span years and others, 22 games. Moments that broke barriers and moments that broke hearts. Moments that prove this is more than a game.”
It goes on:
“Now, it’s time to unite as one family, as one community. To build the next era for this team and this city. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us…Together, we are all Cleveland guardians.”
The organization announced in December that it would be changing the name for the first time since 1915 after years of controversy and recent pressure from Major League Baseball.
Over the last several months, the team met with fans and community leaders, resulting in a list of nearly 1,200 potential names.
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The club said it had three main themes for a new name: preserving Cleveland baseball history, uniting the community and connecting to the city of Cleveland.
The team stopped wearing the Chief Wahoo logo on jerseys and hats in 2018.
Among the name options that were trending on social media for the new name were the Guardians and the Spiders, a throwback to the club’s name from the 1890s.