Cleveland pitches changeup: From Indians to Guardians

Ethan Vargas ’23

For more than a century, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team has always been known as the Indians.

Effective the end of the 2021 season, their name will change and they will be known as the Cleveland Guardians.

Following the same scenario as the Washington Football team name change, it was inevitable that the Indians would change their name as well.

Steven Rissotto ’20, Giants beat writer for SFBay.CA, stated, “I saw this change coming. I figured with the Washington Football team making their adjustment, it was only a matter of time before the Indians made the switch.”

The Cleveland Indians are not the only MLB team to have changed its name. Click on the map to discover more.

The Indians’ fan base may have had mixed reactions when they heard about the change. Rissotto stated, “It doesn’t make it easy, especially when fans have spent countless amounts of money on merchandise with the name ‘Indians’ on it.”

He continued, “There’s going to be criticism any time you try and change the name of something major, and it all stems back to tradition.”

Nevertheless, Rissotto thinks the Guardians name suits them. “It goes with the theme of the bridge right near the ballpark, so it was convenient.”

The history of the Indians’ name dates back to 1915, when club owner Charles Somers decided to rename the Cleveland Naps to the Cleveland Indians. The name has been criticized by Native Americans for decades. After the Chief Wahoo logo was removed in 2019, it was a matter of time until the team name would be replaced as well.

So how did they land on the Guardians as the new name? The name was inspired by the eight Guardians of Traffic statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge, near Progressive Field.