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Goodbye Indians, hello Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians

The rebranding of the Cleveland Indians continues, as the Native American moniker is going away in 2022, replaced by a new name with a strong local tie: the Cleveland Guardians.

The Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history joining the Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-1914) and Indians (1915-2021).

“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 press 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.”

Yes, there is a local tie that won’t make much sense to outsiders. Here’s what’s new, here’s what remains:

The block C used in recent years after the retirement of Chief Wahoo will be replaced by a Diamond C. The new C draws from the ascending diamond motifs at the top of each Guardian pylon. The weight of the C is bold and its tapered shape inspired by letterforms from the 1920 and 1948 World Series clubs.

  • The Guardians’ Fastball logo is inspired by the helmets and wings of the Hope Memorial Bridge’s Guardian statues, and the G purposefully wraps around and guards the baseball.

Staying the same:

  • The team colors will remain the same as used over the last 80 years: red, white and blue.
  • The team will continue to wear CLEVELAND on road uniforms, featuring the Bridge Print alphabet derived from the Diamond C, with the Guardians script wordmark set for the home uniforms.

“Since the announcement to change the name in December, our team has been hard at work to ensure we pick a name that our community, fans, partners, employees and players will be proud to have represent Cleveland Baseball,” President of Business Operations Brian Barren said via press release. “Through our research and discussions, 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 Guardians upholds all three of those pillars.”

The Indians had previously struggled with a problematic part of its team branding: Chief Wahoo. It took until 2018 for the team to downplay Chief Wahoo on team uniforms, branding and marketing. However, the idea of dropping the logo completely had previously been met with some reluctance from Indians chairman and chief executive Paul Dolan, even as Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred increased pressure on the team to get rid of Chief Wahoo

RELATED STORIES: Cleveland to shed Indians name–eventually; Cleveland to reexamine Indians name, brandingRethinking ballpark branding in #BLM timesExamining tangled legacies at sports facilities in a #BLM world 

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