Cleveland's baseball team goes from Indians to Guardians

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Cleveland.

    Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Cleveland.

  • Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill delivers in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Cleveland.

    Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Cal Quantrill delivers in the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Cleveland.

  • FILE - A Cleveland Indians jersey hangs at the Cleveland Indians team shop in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced the name change Friday, July 23, 2021, with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

    FILE - A Cleveland Indians jersey hangs at the Cleveland Indians team shop in Cleveland, in this Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, file photo. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced the name change Friday, July 23, 2021, with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians president Paul Dolan speaks before a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Cleveland. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced the name change Friday, July 23, 2021, with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.  Dolan said last summer's social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the ballclub's name.

    FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians president Paul Dolan speaks before a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Cleveland. Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians. The ballclub announced the name change Friday, July 23, 2021, with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist. Dolan said last summer's social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the ballclub's name.

 
 
Updated 7/23/2021 9:57 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday -- effective at the end of the 2021 season -- with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks. The decision ends months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

 

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club's die-hard fans.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process quickly accelerated and the club landed on Guardians.

Team owner Paul Dolan said last summer's social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the name.

Dolan is expected to provide more details on the choice and background on the change at a news conference at Progressive Field before the Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays.

In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that was protested for decades by Native American groups.

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The name change has sparked lively debate among the city's passionate sports fans. Other names, including the Spiders, which is what the team was once called, were pushed by supporters on social media platforms.

But Guardians does seem to fit the team's objective to find a name that embodies Cleveland's ethos while preserving the team's history and uniting the community.

Not far from the downtown ballpark, there are two large landmark stone edifices -- referred to as guardians -- on the Hope Memorial Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP--Sports

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