The city of Cleveland is the most important part of our name, and because this city means so much to our organization, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. Guardians originally came from the sculptures on the Hope Memorial Bridge, but the more we talked about it with fans, the more it actually started to feel like a reflection of the traits we, as Clevelanders, take pride in the most—fierce loyalty, unwavering support, and a resolve to stick with each other through thick and thin. As a team, as an organization, and as citizens of Cleveland, we hope that wearing the name Guardians will make our fans proud to protect and preserve all that we love about this city.
Our fans were at the heart of this decision. Over the course of several months of research, we surveyed more than 40,000 fans and conducted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel. Through all of our research and dscussions, we identified a few key themes that were most important to fans – connect to the city of Cleveland, honor our rich baseball history and unite our community – and we believe the name Guardians and the supporting branding elements uphold all three of those pillars.
We’ve heard from fans and individuals who have a variety of viewpoints on this issue and understand their emotional connection to the name. While Indians will always be a part of our history, the most important part of our team name is Cleveland. We feel it is in the best interest of our fans and our community for us to move forward with a new team name that helps advance the inclusivity of our team.
While the exact date is still to be determined, we are committed to officially launching the new name at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
We felt it important to share our new name as soon as we were ready so that we could be the first to introduce it to our fans and community, and to avoid any potential leaks from other sources. We also wanted to provide our staff with sufficient time to prepare for officially changing our name after this season.
We will continue to accurately depict the history of our players and our franchise. Indians will always be a part of our history, and over the last century of Cleveland baseball saw many historic milestones – 1948 World Series, Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter, Len Barker’s perfect game, 2016 World Series appearance, 22-game winning streak, and countless playoff runs, comebacks, and celebrations. These remarkable accomplishments will forever stay in our record books and memories.