CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians are no more...
We are the Cleveland Guardians.
With the 2022 season underway, 3News' Austin Love is sharing a special documentary he created about the team's historic name change. The 30-minute documentary -- titled Changing of the Guardians -- airs at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, on WKYC.
You can watch a special sneak peek in the video at the top of this story.
After months of anticipation and years of some calling for the Indians moniker to be dropped, the team revealed their new name on Friday, July 23, 2021.
The Cleveland Guardians were born.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said that day. “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.”
The announcement came courtesy of a special video (watch above) voiced by Tom Hanks. Here's his narration:
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.
Here's another sneak peek of the documentary, which was first published during the home opener on April 15:
So how did we get here? This is a timeline of important dates as the team changed its name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians...
Dec. 13, 2020: Multiple outlets report the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team name.
Dec. 14, 2020: The team confirmed their decision to officially begin the process of changing their name.
May 4, 2021: 3News conducted a poll asking fans what they think the new team name should be. Spiders topped the list with 27.7 percent of the vote. Rockers, Guardians, Cleveland Baseball Club, Buckeyes and Municipals rounded out the ballot.
July 22, 2021: Reports surface that the team had selected a new name.
July 23, 2021: The new name is officially revealed.
Sept. 27, 2021: The Cleveland Indians played their final game at Progressive Field. 3News' Betsy Kling had the honor of throwing out the first pitch in that historic game.
On Nov. 2, 2021: Crews began removing the "Script Indians" sign from the Progressive Field scoreboard.
Nov. 16, 2021: The Cleveland Guardians baseball team settled a dispute with the city's roller derby team also known as the Cleveland Guardians.
Nov. 19, 2021: The team officially became Cleveland Guardians, and newly branded merchandise went up for sale. The team officially updated its name on social media this day as well.
Nov. 23, 2021: New Cleveland Guardians gear is made available to other retailers.
March 17, 2022: Crews complete installation of the new Cleveland Guardians sign atop the scoreboard at Progressive Field.
April 13, 2022: Team officials say all script Indians signage that is not related to historical archives has been removed from the ballpark. Block C signage is slowly being replaced, but will still appear in some areas within Progressive Field during the 2022 season.
April 15, 2022: A new era of Cleveland baseball begins. The Cleveland Guardians take their home field for the first time with their new team name.