CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have a new name. In a video released to social media on Friday, the franchise announced that it will be known as the "Cleveland Guardians" beginning in 2022.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
In the video, narrated by Tom Hanks and featuring the Black Keys, the team also released its new logos, which will maintain the Indians' red and navy blue color scheme. One logo features a new, stylized 'C', while the other features a 'G' with guardians wings. The team also has new fonts for both a block 'Cleveland' and script 'Guardians," reminiscent of the current wordmarks worn on the team's uniforms.
The Indians' announcement comes nearly one year after the team first announced that it was having discussions regarding the future of its name, which has been considered to be offensive to Native Americans. In December, the Indians officially announced that they would be changing their name, although the team didn't commit to an official timeline to do so.
Over the course of the process of selecting a new name, the organization said that it conducted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel. "Guardians" was long considered one of the favorites to be chosen for the new name, as an homage to the "Guardians of Traffic" that look over Hope Memorial Bridge just outside of Progressive Field.
Hanks' entire narration of the video is as follows:
“We are a city on the rise. Forging into the future from our ironed-out past. We are a city of fire and water, of trees and towers built through generations of blue collars and the brightest scholars – and all of those who have worked harder. We hold tight to our roots and set our sights on tomorrow, but 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 that this is more than a game. We remember those moments as we move forward with change. You see, there’s always been Cleveland – that’s the best part of our name. Now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team in this city. To keep watch and guard what makes this game the greatest. To come together and welcome all who want to join us. We are loyal and proud and resilient. We protect what we’ve earned and always defend it. Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from the land – because this is the city we love and the game we believe in. And together, we are all Cleveland Guardians.”