Gracie Wilson and Ben Voelker



Despite the debate on the names, baseball is still an important part of Cleveland, OH (Gracie Wilson)

It doesn’t take a keen sports eye to see the debates stemming from Cleveland Baseball this summer. On July 24, the Cleveland Indians announced they would be changing their team name to the Cleveland Guardians for the next major league baseball season.

 This name change feels like it is out of the blue for some, but likely comes from events that took place last year where a number of brands and groups changed their names because of claims that they were racist and in poor taste. As a result, the Indians have made steps to make that change. 

 It makes sense. Honestly, after the former Washington Redskins renamed themselves to the Washington Football Team, we as Cleveland fans should have seen this coming. But the Guardians is a name I don’t think anyone saw coming. 

 I’m not saying it is a bad name, honestly, I think they did a pretty good job with their rebranding. When you climb the stairs at Progressive Field to the upper deck seats, you can stop on one of the landings and look out toward the I-71 and I-90 interchange and see the famed “Guardians of Traffic” off to the left. The guardians stand on either side of a bridge and oversee the cars passing. Since the guardians are right across the way, you could almost say they are guarding Progressive Field too. 

 Think about it: how cool does it sound that Cleveland will be the Guardians of the MLB. This could be used in a variety of cool marketing campaigns. Cleveland can be the “Guardians of the MLB” kind of like the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Personally, I think that anyone who is a Marvel fan should like the change.  

The big question is going to be what the new logo will be. What is a guardian? How do we put that on hats, jerseys, shirts and more? They have shown that they will probably just keep the same sort of script style writing since the “-dians” part of “Indians” is also present in “Guardians.” Hopefully we can do better than a block “G” or block “C” though. 

 A lot of the logos out there show a “G” with wings affixed to a baseball. This is cool as it shows their focus, no matter the name change, stays on the love of the game. While I hope they can find a way to make it more “Guardians” related in the future, this logo is a perfect place to start for this new change. 

 Like the name or don’t but think about how much more this name allows the team to be rooted in Cleveland history. Or, at the very least, be thankful we don’t have to live out the rest of our days as the “Cleveland Baseball Team.”




The Cleveland Indians are one of the oldest teams in Major League Baseball. They are only one of four teams to remain in their original city since the American League joined the MLB in 1901. Dating back to the late-1800’s, baseball has always been a staple within the city of Cleveland and its surrounding areas. During this time, Cleveland baseball teams adopted many strange names such as the Forest Citys, Blues, Spiders, and Infants, all of which folded after only a few years of their establishment. 

 The Indians team we have come to know today were founded in 1894 in Grand Rapids, Mich. and were known as the “Rustlers.” In 1900, the team moved to Cleveland. Throughout their first fifteen years, the team was known by many names such as the Great Lakes, Bluebirds, and the Naps.

 According to, in 1915, the team changed its name to the Indians, which was picked to honor Native American outfielder Louis Sockalexis, who played on the defunct Cleveland Spiders. Sockalexis was the first Native American to play in the MLB, breaking many barriers by doing so. He was a novelty, single handedly drawing crowds to Cleveland to watch the Spiders play. Despite a promising start, Sockalexis’s career was derailed by alcoholism and later died of a heart attack in 1913 at the age of 42. The Indians name was never meant to be derogatory or come from a place of hate. It was to honor and respect a forgotten trailblazer who paved the way for Jackie Robinson nearly 50 years later.

 Five years after their change to the Indians, Cleveland won its first World Series championship in 1920. With popularity of the team at an all-time high, the “Indians” name cemented itself as the name of the Cleveland baseball team. The Indians once again won the World Series title in 1948, but they have not won it since. 

 Following the 2017 season, the Indians announced that they would be dropping the popular “Chief Wahoo” logo from the team’s branding. Fans could start to feel the momentum shift towards an imminent name change following the announcement. This brings us to the present day, where the team announced on Twitter that the Indians are set to change their name to the “Cleveland Guardians” following the 2021 season.

The Guardians name does nothing to honor Sockalexis’s legacy. In 2006, the Indians inducted Sockalexis into their Hall of Fame, but they still do more to honor Sockalexis in other ways. 

 The Cleveland Guardians may win the World Series someday in the future, but the Cleveland Indians title drought will forever rest at 73 years.