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New merchandise is displayed at the opening of the Cleveland Guardians team shop on Friday, November … [+] 19 in Cleveland. The opening of the team shop officially launched the name change of Cleveland’s baseball team from Indians to Guardians. (AP Photo/Ken Blaze)
As charter members of the American League, founded in 1901, Cleveland’s professional baseball team had three different names in its first three years of existence, and four names in its first 15 years in the league. In 1901 the team was known as the Blues. In 1902 it was the Bronchos. In 1903 it was the Naps, named after Cleveland’s Hall of Fame second baseman Napoleon Lajoie.
Starting in 1915, and for the next 96 years, the team was known as the Cleveland Indians.
However, when the sun came up today the sun set on the name “Cleveland Indians”.
It’s now official. The team’s new name is the Cleveland Guardians. The new name, “Guardians,” was arrived at a few months ago under not exactly mysterious circumstances, but not exactly transparent ones.
Fans were encouraged to submit suggestions, but there was no region-wide civic vote. No public debates or townhall meetings on PBS. If consultants were consulted, they were consulted without consultation with season ticket holders, focus groups, out-of-focus groups, or LeBron James.
At least as far as we know.
As far as we know, the name…