CLEVELAND (WJW)– The Cleveland Indians front office held a news conference Friday afternoon to address the new name.
After decades of controversy and months of speculation, the baseball club announced it will be called the Cleveland Guardians. It’s an obvious nod to the Guardians of Transportation, the massive art deco statues along the Hope Memorial Bridge leading to downtown Cleveland.
“Like most of you, I grew up with the Cleveland Indians,” said team owner Paul Dolan, recalling his favorite players, the World Series appearances and the Cy Young winners. “Those memories do not diminish with a new name. Indians will always be a part of our history, just as Cleveland has always been a part of our identity.”
“In searching for a new brand, we sought a name that strongly reflects the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. Guardians embodies those defining attributes,” Dolan said. “It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in their city and for each other while defending our Cleveland baseball family.”
He said he acknowledges the name change will be difficult for some people, but hopes this steers the team from a divisive path.
The Indians introduced the change in a video narrated by Oscar-winner Tom Hanks with music by Akron’s The Black Keys.
Cleveland will keep its color scheme and use a similar script style from the last 75 years with structural elements from the bridge of its namesake. The team said fans stressed the importance of maintaining the red, white and navy.
The Block C gets a makeover to the Diamond C. Slider the mascot will also stick around.
Manager Terry Francona spoke about his longtime connections to the Cleveland Indians organizations, while praising the club’s leadership through the change.
“We’re trying to be the best Cleveland organization we can be and be united for everybody and represent the city of Cleveland like it deserves,” Francona said. “We are trying to be the most respectful we can. And it’s not about us, it’s about other people. You have to step outside your own skin and think about other people who may have different color skin and what they’re thinking.”
Cleveland will finish the 2021 season as the Indians.