CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland’s baseball team will play its last home game under the name Indians on Monday. It will be a makeup game against the Royals at 1:10 p.m.
There will be six more road games after that, three in Kansas City and three against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Then this reset season of change and injury -- some may call it a throwaway season -- will be over.
The team held no end-of-an-era event for its last homestand. They have been called the Indians for 106 years, since 1915, but there would be no wake, no moving video tribute shown on the scoreboard. The sooner they can close the door on this decision and spin things forward the better.
Next year they will be called The Guardians, a much safer and neutral choice of names. It is a name that will not stir the political and racial passions of these virulent times. It is name that will finally take the heat off ownership and the front office and allow them, if they are true to why they changed the name in the first place, to pursue social justice in Northeast Ohio under a banner that will unite instead of divide.
Sometime this offseason, they will make the change official. Tickets and Guardians gear will go on sale. It will take all winter to makeover Progressive Field, the spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz., and the academy in the Dominican Republic. All references to the Indians must be removed and replaced by Guardians.
Not sure how that’s going to work on the statues of Indians Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Jim Thome, Lou Boudreau and Larry Doby at Progressive Field. Or the statue of Frank Robinson, the first Black manager in the big leagues, that stands in the middle of the team’s Hall of Fame behind the center field wall. It’s hard to recast bronze.
Can an organization really separate itself from over a century of its own history by just changing a name? Owner Paul Dolan, when the name change was officially announced on July 23, knew that would be impossible. He said it would take time, probably years.
One of the best things about going to a game at Progressive Field is the huge scoreboard above the left field bleachers. Between innings, the in-house cameras pan the crowd to get shots of fans dancing, singing, drinking, eating, making marriage proposals and holding up their children so they can see themselves on the big board.
It’s amazing how people’s faces come alive when they see themselves on the scoreboard.
This happens at every ballpark in the big leagues, but during this last homestand, you couldn’t help but be struck by the apparel almost everyone at Progressive Field was wearing. Indians caps, jerseys and jackets were everywhere. A guy drinking a beer Friday night was shown on the big screen and before the camera moved to another target, he ripped open his jacket to reveal a giant Chief Wahoo, the mascot that the team dropped after the 2018 season.
The Indians name isn’t going away. It will eventually fade, but 106 years of history is not erased simply because a franchise decides to erase it.
Our subtext users were asked for their thoughts on the final days of the Indians being called the Indians. Here are some of their responses:
* I am sad to see the name go, but just like the rest of life, things change. They are still my team, and will be, even though I am in Orlando now.
* They will always be the Indians to me.
* Excited for the future of the Guardians. Fully in on so many things -- love that they connected the name change to something that’s connected to the city, love that they’re keeping the color scheme and that they even found something to end in “dians” so that the jerseys stay similar, love that they were able to get a long term extension on Progressive Field, very excited about this future chapter.
* We all grew up with Chief Wahoo and the Indians. It’s a symbol of our youth, and our children’s youth. It will be as meaningful to us in the future as the Spiders and Naps were to their generations. The game will go on and we’ll cheer for the Guardians, but we’ll be filled with melancholy and a lingering sadness for the loss of our Indians and what they meant to us all these years.
* I am very emotional about the last days of the Indians name. I have been a fan for over 50 years and have already lost some emotional attachment to the team. We’ll see how I feel next season, I love baseball, but I’m not sure I will feel the same about the Cleveland baseball club. It just won’t be the same no matter how hard I try.
* I just checked apparently the 1915 Indians were 44.5 behind the Red Sox with Babe Ruth. So this team is better.
* The Indians did offer to to print special tickets for season ticket holders for the last home game.
* Great job by management patching a ship torn up by injury and staying competitive. Lots of hope for Guardians.
* Yes, it is a bit emotional. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. You see, I personally do not see anything wrong with it and strongly disagree with those who have promoted the need to change the name. I always looked at it as “We are proud of the American Indian and their culture. We are grateful to be able to name our baseball team Indians in honor of them.
But I will have to say that the new name is a whole lot better than Spiders (OMG).
This will be a topic of conversation and argument for years. The Indians have lost and gained fans because of it. But big-league baseball is still being played in Cleveland. The team’s name has changed. So will the players for 2022. But the game will stay the same.
Indians merchandise for sale: Here’s where you can order Cleveland Indians gear online before the team becomes the Guardians, including jerseys, T-shirts, hoodies, hats and much more.
More Indians coverage
Source : https://www.cleveland.com/tribe/2021/09/the-last-go-around-for-the-cleveland-indians-the-week-in-baseball.html1900