The Cleveland Guardians are a Major League Baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are part of the American League Central Division. Under the team's former name of Cleveland Indians, the Guardians won two World Series championships in 1920 and 1948. Currently, they hold the longest championship drought in MLB.
The team was founded in 1894 in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the Grand Rapids Rustlers, playing in the late-1890s Western League, which became the American League in 1900. In that same year, the team moved to Cleveland, taking the name of Lake Shores. The next year, the team became the Cleveland Bluebirds, also known as Blues. Players didn't like that name, and failed in a try to change the name to "Broncos" in 1902. In that same year, the team traded for star player Nap Lajoie, who later became player-manager, and it soon became known as the "Naps" in his honor. The team was called the Cleveland Naps until Lajoie left at the end of the 1914 season.
After Lajoie left, the team looked for a new nickname and settled on "Indians" for the 1915 season, partly in honor of the Boston Braves who had won the 1914 World Series. In more modern times, their nickname was often thought to be a poor choice. It is considered offensive to name a team for a race or ethnic group. However, there was no serious effort to change the name until the 21st century. After growing criticism, the team started to move away from the nickname in 2018, retiring its controversial "Chief Wahoo" logo of a caricatured Native American. In 2020, team owner Paul Dolan announced that the "Indians" name would be retired after the 2021 season. The new nickname of Guardians was announced on July 23, 2021. The name refers to the Guardians of Traffic, statues sculpted into pylons of the Hope Memorial Bridge that crosses the Cuyahoga River near downtown Cleveland. The Cleveland Guardians name took effect on November 19, 2021.
In the 1990s, the then-Indians were in the postseason several times. They made it to the World Series in 1995 and 1997 but lost to the Atlanta Braves and the Florida Marlins respectively. They returned to the World Series in 2016, and again they lost, this time to the Chicago Cubs in seven games. In 2017, they set an American League record of winning 22 straight games. They won 102 games during the season. However, they lost to the New York Yankees in the Division Series.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cleveland Guardians.|
- "Team Name Update: Letter from Paul Dolan". MLB.com. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
- Bell, Mandy (July 23, 2021). "New for '22: Meet the Cleveland Guardians". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
- Bell, Mandy (November 19, 2021). "Guardians era officially arrives in Cleveland". MLB.com. Retrieved November 19, 2021.