Indians owner Paul Dolan’s letter to fans: Cleveland most important part of identity

Sports

CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan sent a letter to fans on Friday following the team’s announcement it will be changing names to the Cleveland Guardians.

The new name was revealed in a video featuring the narration of Tom Hanks and the music of The Black Keys. It includes iconic images of Cleveland, including the inspiration for the new moniker: the Guardians of Transportation that line the Hope Memorial Bridge.

Here is what Dolan had to say:

As a fifth generation Clevelander, I understand the historic impact and importance of the decision to change our team name. Like most of you, I grew up with the name Indians. My first Indians heroes were the great Rocky Colavito and Sonny Siebert. My bond to the Tribe was secured then and my fandom has only grown over the years. The successes we enjoyed and shared in the last three decades as Indians – the World Series appearances, Cy Young Award winners, longest win streak in MLB history, and so many other great accomplishments will always be unforgettable Indians memories for all of us.

Those memories do not diminish with a new name. Indians will always be part of our history just as Cleveland has always been the most important 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 while drawing upon the iconic Guardians of Traffic proudly standing just outside Progressive Field on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we stand for each other while defending our Cleveland baseball family.

We acknowledge the name change will be difficult for many of us, and the transition will take time. It is our hope and belief this change will divert us from a divisive path, and instead steer us towards a future where our fans, city, and region are all united as Cleveland Guardians.

We didn’t get to this name or our design elements lightly. Since the announcement to change the name in December, our team has been hard at work to ensure we pick a name that our fans and players will be proud to have represent Cleveland Baseball for the next 100-plus years.

Throughout this process, we surveyed more than 40,000 fans and conducted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel. Through all our research and discussions, we identified a few key themes that were most important to fans – connect to the city of Cleveland, unite our community, and honor our rich baseball history. Therefore, while the name will be new, we will maintain elements of continuity to emphasize the ongoing connection our past will have with our future. Our colors and uniform mix are remaining the same, so our on-field look will feel very similar in 2022. If you’d like to learn more about the design marks, please visit our team name microsite MLB.com/CLEteamname.

So what’s next? We will finish the 2021 season as the Cleveland Indians and will then look to launch as the Cleveland Guardians at the conclusion of the season. We are excited to usher in the next chapter of our franchise’s long history in this city, and I am looking forward to the next generation of memories that friends, families and this city will all make together. I am sincerely thankful to everyone who has supported us throughout this process. Our fans and our community are the reason we exist, and as Guardians, we will continue to strive to unite and inspire this city through the power of team.

Paul Dolan, Cleveland Indians owner and CEO

The Cleveland baseball club will be keeping its red, white and navy colors, as well as Slider the mascot. The Block C will get a makeover to the Diamond C and the script font will also be updated.

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