Cleveland’s MLB team released a statement Friday morning to announce it will change its name from Indians to Guardians. I understand why many sports franchises are rebranding away from Native Americans in their team name. Washington’s Football Team did it last year, primarily due to monetary issues, and the Indians themselves already distanced themselves from “Chief Wahoo” in 2018. I agree the name should be changed, but to what?
Why I don’t like the name Guardians
Friday morning on Twitter the team released a video to the fans that said “Cleveland is the best part of our name.” And I’d have to agree. Judging by new the logo, shown above, this seems like an attempt to get a word that ends in similar letters to “Indian” in order to do as little work as possible. It feels random, although they have said they’ve surveyed thousands of fans to come up with the name. Also, baseball isn’t really a game of changes, but rather tradition. So, here are examples of team rebrands I think would work better for Cleveland, maybe in the future.
The Cleveland Spiders
Until the late 1800s, Cleveland’s baseball club was called the Spiders. Cy Young pitched for them in 1890. Although the team itself wasn’t that good, it is still a cool baseball team name with a lot of potential for awesome stadium effects.
The Cleveland Buckeyes
The Buckeyes were a Negro league team from 1942 to 1950, and even won a Negro World Series in 1945. Although it could conflict with Ohio State’s brand, it would pay homage to the Major League players who separated from their peers.
The Cleveland Baseball Club
It’s simple. yet effective. Since football relies heavily on branding for logos and mascots, “The Football Team” sounds lame. However the “Cleveland Baseball Club” sounds more fitting. Fans in the area can just refer to them as the team, or ballclub. And I think this accomplishes the goal of having Cleveland be the most important part of the brand.