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Sunday, July 25, 2021

The inside story of how Cleveland Indians became Cleveland Guardians

As they talked to fans and civic leaders about a possible new name, they first asked what people think when they hear the word “Cleveland.”

“We heard things like loyalty, pride and resiliency in being from Cleveland,” said Barren. “They’re protective of our city. They’re protective of the land and everything about it. Those all became part of what Guardians really started to evoke from an emotional standpoint.”

They wrote down these words: Pride. Resiliency. Loyalty. Protective.

“We asked which of these potential brands reflect those attributes to what the fans (say) are important,” said Barren.

That knocked out animals and colors. It left objects/characters.

THE BRANDING ISSUES

There were some people pushing for the Spiders.

“Spiders was an interesting consideration early on in the process,” said Barren. “There were some pros and cons to it. On the con side, you had some teams that struggled on the field. There were also some great Spiders teams. ... But the last time we had a Spiders major-league baseball team, it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.“

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2021 at 11:41 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: guardians, indians

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: July 26, 2021 at 08:08 AM (#6030382)
What a load of corporatespeak bollocks.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 26, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6030388)
I don't love Guardians (I hate the logo) but I'm glad it wasn't Spiders. I didn't want a rehashed nickname and "Spiders" just felt a bit like the team trying too hard to be cool. Same reason I was glad Washington went with Nationals instead of Senators for their latest incarnation.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6030393)
they first asked what people think when they hear the word “Cleveland.”

River fires. Losers. LeBron James.
   4. Ulysses S Fairsmith Posted: July 26, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6030399)
When I hear “Cleveland,” I think “Indians”—but I’m guessing that’s not helpful. I was hoping for Spiders.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6030406)
I guess I'm the immature one that thinks "Steamers" when I hear "Cleveland."
   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6030408)
Napoleon Lajoie. No? Nobody else? Just me?
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 10:51 AM (#6030414)
Napoleon Lajoie. No? Nobody else? Just me?

"Cleveland Napoleons" would be better than Guardians.
   8. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 26, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6030417)
“We heard things like 'Ferchrissakes, inflation is skyrocketing, the delta variant is surging and the President of the United States can barely stay awake! I don't give a good g@ddamn about the name of some baseball team! Grow up!'".

Fixed.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: July 26, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6030419)
I want the inside story on the Cleveland Guardians, the men's roller derby team that launched in 2014 and owns the clevelandguardians.com website.

not kidding
   10. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6030420)
the President of the United States can barely stay awake!


You need different sources of information.
   11. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: July 26, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6030424)
I guess I'm the immature one that thinks "Steamers" when I hear "Cleveland."


I, too, just had Cleveland Steamer enter my mind...

   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6030425)

“We heard things like 'Ferchrissakes, inflation is skyrocketing, the delta variant is surging and the President of the United States can barely stay awake! I don't give a good g@ddamn about the name of some baseball team! Grow up!'".


"But then we stopped talking to Sean Hannity."
   13. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6030429)
the President of the United States can barely stay awake!

You need different sources of information.


Yeah, like 90% of Primates, who voted for this human vegetable just to stop the mean Tweets. (Reap the whirlwind, guys.)
   14. Zonk Will Be Reinstated in August Posted: July 26, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6030433)
...he said as the S&P 500 flirts with its all-time high, 10 yr notes continue to tread water at less than 1.3, U6 falls below 10%, and GDP looks in shape to crack 5% for the first time in 35 years.
   15. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 26, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6030434)
the Cleveland Guardians, the men's roller derby team that launched in 2014 and owns the clevelandguardians.com website.


Funnily enough, the website apparently hadn't been updated for three years...until Saturday.

They'll be crushed under the Heel of Manfred (tm) soon enough.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 26, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6030440)
And here's their (quite active all of a sudden) Facebook page!
   17. bobm Posted: July 26, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6030443)
Yeah, like 90% of Primates, who voted for this human vegetable just to stop the mean Tweets.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Cleveland Guardians ad Litem!
   18. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6030451)
Remember. 99% of his output is trolling.


they first asked what people think when they hear the word “Cleveland.”

The Cleveland Szells? Anyone? No?


"Cleveland Napoleons" would be better than Guardians.

I think The Guardians is fine; but this would have definitely been cooler, if mostly confusing for a lot of people.
   19. TJ Posted: July 26, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6030475)
The Cleveland Fellers? Nah, too misogynistic...

A silhouette of Bob Feller with that high leg kick as a logo would have been pretty awesome, though...
   20. phredbird Posted: July 26, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6030486)

they first asked what people think when they hear the word “Cleveland.


brown.

not browns. brown.

brown water, buildings, clothes, lawns, air, etc. ... anybody ever see 'American Splendor'?

so why couldn't it be the Cleveland Brown?

i know it's probably unfair, i'm sure there's lots of cool things about cleveland.
   21. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: July 26, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6030488)
Remember. 99% of his output is trolling.


Maybe, but I tend to think that he has been played and duped by the right-wing media ecosphere and does not have the smarts to troll. But if it is a schtick, it is a pretty good one in some ways, although it would fit much better at the BTF/OTP Discord site than it does here.

As to the Guardians name: I don't think it sounds good, either, but I can see why they wanted to avoid Spiders, and I would suggest that any of the original 16 changing the team name after having literally had it for 100 or more years just will not "feel right." My team is the Reds, which is actually sort of a lame nickname if you think about it, but I would be apoplectic if they changed it. One possible exception: there has been some talk of re-naming the Braves the "Hammers" to honor Henry Aaron, using the same graphics, just with a hammer replacing the tomahawk on the jerseys. I think that would work very well.


   22. Traderdave Posted: July 26, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6030489)

i know it's probably unfair, i'm sure there's lots of cool things about cleveland.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cleveland has some really great architecture and a surprisingly good restaurant scene. Summer weather is very comfortable, far less humid than is typical for the Midwest. Museums and symphony are world class. Local rock n roll in bars is among the best in the country. Cuyahoga Nat Rec Area has excellent hiking & outdoor activities.

There is much to like about Cleveland, but that said, it's a better place to visit than to live...

   23. Baldrick Posted: July 26, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6030491)
Folks, [ Ignored Comment ]
   24. Traderdave Posted: July 26, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6030492)
naming the Braves the "Hammers" to honor Henry Aaron, using the same graphics, just with a hammer replacing the tomahawk on the jerseys. I think that would work very well

----------------------------------

That would be a very graceful exit from "Braves," Hammers is a much better sports nickname than "Guardians." Although since there are 3 teams named after socks, hard to care much either way about a team name.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6030497)
As to the Guardians name: I don't think it sounds good, either, but I can see why they wanted to avoid Spiders, and I would suggest that any of the original 16 changing the team name after having literally had it for 100 or more years just will not "feel right." My team is the Reds, which is actually sort of a lame nickname if you think about it,


If the team I cared about (OK, formerly cared about) wanted to change its name, I'd cheer. As is the case with most of the original 16 clubs, it's a terrible name.

I like Guardians a lot. It hits on all three of my marks for a good name: uniqueness (or something approximating it), local connection and rolls off the tongue nicely.

   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6030528)
I guess I'm in the minority, but I like Guardians. I like that it actually reflects something about the city, rather than some generic "Bulldogs" or some awful name like "Heat" or "Exxxxtreme" or something that won't age well.
   27. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6030530)
Atlanta Hammers even sounds good - huge upgrade.

I'm not big on Guardians as a name, for a handful of reasons - but I'm not a Cleveland person anyway so, who cares what I think? Personally, I wanted Spiders. 1) the idea of being able to tie back to really old names is appealing to me (I hoped that the Raptors in the NBA would be the Huskies for similar reasons) 2) lends itself to simple, cool looking graphics. 3) underrated animal in terms of what it can do 4) does offer some punning opportunities (like for good fielding plays)
   28. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6030531)
I guess I'm in the minority, but I like Guardians.


I think it is OK, although I do not think that it "rolls off the tongue nicely." I see the point about generic names, but some of those--Tigers, Pirates, Giants--are entrenched and part of my baseball brain wiring, and I would not like to see them changed. "Indians", in addition to the cultural/racial/political implications, was not really a good nickname IMO.
   29. TJ Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6030538)
Re: Guardians Logo

Too bad Mike Scioscia never played for Cleveland. They could have just used a picture of him protecting home plate…

   30. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6030543)
I don't know why "Spiders" has gained such traction. Is it just that the viral logos look good? The last time a Cleveland team was the Spiders, they were horrifically awful, used as basically a tomato can, then dismantled and sold for parts. Why people want to revive that legacy is beyond me.

Baseball is still, at its heart, a local sport, and I like the local reference to the Guardians. The wordmark and logo needs to be reworked, though. They couldn't be more generic. The roller derby franchise wordmark is awesome. The MLB team should just buy it off them.
   31. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6030546)
When my old school district merged with its adjacent rival, the powers that be unfortunately went with a generic mascot -- Cougars. Until then, we were the Yellow Jackets & they were the Red Devils. Should've gone with some sort of combination. Yellow Devils would've been unfortunate, I realize, but Red Jackets would be a helluva lot better than Cougars. Oh, well.

When the same thing happened with a couple of high schools in North Little Rock, the Chargers & the Wildcats became the Charging Wildcats.

   32. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6030547)

I think it is OK, although I do not think that it "rolls off the tongue nicely.


Give it time. It's similar to Cleveland Indians, which is fine in that context (and that context only). Three syllable names can be tricky, but work best when that second syllable is soft (Indians, Cardinals, etc.) It's actually the biggest problem with Diamondbacks, which is otherwise a terrific name (horrific diminutive excepted).

I am glad they didn't give in to the Spiders crowd, though I could get on board with a return to the Naps.

I see the point about generic names, but some of those--Tigers, Pirates, Giants--are entrenched and part of my baseball brain wiring, and I would not like to see them changed.


They won't be changed, nor should they. And I'm sure they didn't sound generic when they were created, given how old they are. But for someone born in the back half of the 20th century, they're boring.

And Red Sox, White Sox, Reds, Phillies and Indians were lame the days they were coined.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6030548)
When my old school district merged with its adjacent rival, the powers that be unfortunately went with a generic mascot -- Cougars. Until then, we were the Yellow Jackets & they were the Red Devils.


A team my son used to play in baseball, also called the Cougars, is named New Prairie after the two towns that feed into it, Rolling Prairie and New Carlisle. Rolling Carlisle would have been a much better name.

Right, Zonk?

   34. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6030551)
And Red Sox, White Sox, Reds, Phillies and Indians were lame the days they were coined.


Could something be lame in 1869?
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6030553)

And Red Sox, White Sox, Reds, Phillies and Indians were lame the days they were coined.


And Philadelphia Blue Jays was actually really cool! Why did they change it?
   36. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 26, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6030557)
35–Because “Phillie” is such an iconic local name, right!?

(Disclosure: not from Philly, did not realize that “Phillie” was a moniker actually ever in use for denizens of the Philadelphia area…)
   37. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 26, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6030565)
I don't know about Naps or Spiders, but I'd be down with bringing back the Bronchos.
   38. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6030575)
The Cleveland Szells? Anyone? No?

And they could all have orchestral walkup music! Verdi Requiem Dies Irae-type intimidation factor!

I just cannot figure why this idea isn't gaining traction.
   39. DFA Posted: July 26, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6030582)
The last time a Cleveland team was the Spiders, they were horrifically awful, used as basically a tomato can, then dismantled and sold for parts. Why people want to revive that legacy is beyond me.


But I thought that was essentially because the owner of the team was taking all their good players and giving them to another team, a team the the he had an interest in? Or something like that? So the 1899 Spiders were essentially a minor league team playing in the major league owned by Jeffrey Loria.

I wanted Spiders just because it's a cool name that connects with the past. I will say I'm warming to Guardians, as I guess it's a Cleveland thing. Also my opinion should be valued little as I've never actually been to Cleveland.
   40. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2021 at 07:51 PM (#6030591)
People bringing up the Spiders always point to their ONE championship from 1895, but I'm not exactly convinced. This was a comment on Facebook:
...because there is a history tied to the city, the Spiders did win a championship in the 1890’s before there was a World Series. Because there are 6 former Cleveland Spiders in the Hall of Fame.
Meh.
   41. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 26, 2021 at 08:00 PM (#6030592)
But if it is a schtick, it is a pretty good one in some ways

It is amusing to watch the Primer Hive-Mind lurch every time I post something critical about a Democrat. (But there's no sport to it, honestly. Fish, barrel.)

I wanted Spiders just because it's a cool name that connects with the past.

Me, too. But Guardians is OK, and it is unique.
   42. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 27, 2021 at 12:11 AM (#6030652)
People bringing up the Spiders always point to their ONE championship from 1895, but I'm not exactly convinced.
Seriously. It was 125 years ago and, really, how much of a connection do people really have to that championship? It's not like they're flying that banner in Cleveland. The Cleveland Spiders is the answer to a trivia question (worst damn team ever), not a real thing to connect to. Beyond that, the need to suck on nostalgia is pathetic, and needs to stop. The Guardians is a much better name. (I will allow that the Spiders logo that's being shared around is really awesome.)
   43. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: July 27, 2021 at 12:28 AM (#6030655)
I think the upsides to Spiders would have been the kid factor, the simplicity, and the uniqueness. There are also ofc many people who hate and fear spiders, so I am not sure I would want to name my team after a life form that is on more or less every top 10 phobia list (the massive international popularity of Spider-Man is an obvious counterpoint though).
   44. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 27, 2021 at 06:49 AM (#6030662)
Spiders are the best because they eat bugs. Agree that it would have been a pretty good name from a family marketing perspective. But I do like Guardians for its local ties and uniqueness. Once they fix the logo and typeface that will be pretty solid.

My team is the Reds, which is actually sort of a lame nickname if you think about it, but I would be apoplectic if they changed it.


I actually wouldn't mind it. But I'd frame it as a temporary name change, sorta like the Redlegs era. Just make sure you don't leave it up to a fan vote or they'll be called the Cincinnati Roses.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: July 27, 2021 at 09:50 AM (#6030680)
I'm still looking for someone from Cleveland to tell me they ever felt a connection to these seemingly obscure "Guardians" statues on some bridge. smells like marketing people run amok.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 27, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6030682)
I'm still looking for someone from Cleveland to tell me they ever felt a connection to these seemingly obscure "Guardians" statues on some bridge. smells like marketing people run amok.

Yeah, the bridge thing is weird. It's like naming a NY team the "Hollands", or the "Midtowns", after the tunnels.
   47. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: July 27, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6030683)
I'm still looking for someone from Cleveland to tell me they ever felt a connection to these seemingly obscure "Guardians" statues on some bridge. smells like marketing people run amok.


This is probably accurate. As noted above your changing a name that has been associated with the team for a century. I'd bet there is very little in Cleveland that has the history that "Indians" has so it's going to take some work and spin to get the name to make sense. I suspect in a few years it will be second nature.

Boston--> New England Patriots
New Orleans Hornets--> Pelicans
Florida--> Miami Marlins
Washington Bullets--> Wizards
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim--> Anaheim Ducks
All sorts of California/Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels
Reds-->Redlegs-->Reds
Phillies-->Blue Jays--> Phillies
Houston Colt 45s--> Astros
   48. GregD Posted: July 27, 2021 at 10:34 AM (#6030687)
I'm still looking for someone from Cleveland to tell me they ever felt a connection to these seemingly obscure "Guardians" statues on some bridge. smells like marketing people run amok.
I asked a friend from Cleveland. He was like "love that bridge, great name." If it's works for a decent number of Clevelanders, then fine. (My friend HATED the Indians name, so might have liked any alternative, but did especially like that this one was so local it didn't make sense to non-locals.)

I actually hope any expansion teams follow silly hyper local names:

Nashville Meat and Threes (though the Sounds is a great nickname for the minor league team)
Portland Hipsters
Vegas Scumbags

For the Phillies, you could do some amazing local slang that would be kind of beloved even if zero people want the Phillies name gone. Philadelphia Jawns would be the biggest local seller forever. It's too bad the Flyers didn't figure out a way to do something with wooter ice

The As is great but an Oakland team should definitely incorporate Hella
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: July 27, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6030689)
I asked a friend from Cleveland. He was like "love that bridge, great name." If it's works for a decent number of Clevelanders, then fine.


I'm sure at the moment, no name will work for the majority of Clevelanders, for whom no name would do. The bigger question is the long-term acceptance. And based on what I've seen from colleges who have gone down this path, the fans get over the old name and accept the new.

Still, I wonder if the period of nicknamelessness followed by the NFL team formerly known as Redskins might help speed acceptance of the eventual choice.
   50. GregD Posted: July 27, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6030695)
Still, I wonder if the period of nicknamelessness followed by the NFL team formerly known as Redskins might help speed acceptance of the eventual choice.
this is probably right. a mourning period then relief when something is picked

   51. Adam Starblind Posted: July 27, 2021 at 11:38 AM (#6030699)
I asked a friend from Cleveland. He was like "love that bridge, great name." If it's works for a decent number of Clevelanders, then fine.


I had no idea the name came from a local landmark. I like it more now.
   52. Howie Menckel Posted: July 27, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6030702)
I asked a friend from Cleveland. He was like "love that bridge, great name." If it's works for a decent number of Clevelanders, then fine.

agreed.

I find it a little odd to have spent a respectable amount of my traveling life in Cleveland and never having heard anyone mention it ever - nor, as I previously noted, did "Guardians" ever even get a mention in, say, a Continental Airlines in-flight magazine puff piece. This isn't exactly the Alamo in San Antonio or Pike Place Market in Seattle.
   53. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: July 27, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6030705)
I find it a little odd to have spent a respectable amount of my traveling life in Cleveland and never having heard anyone mention it ever - nor, as I previously noted, did "Guardians" ever even get a mention in, say, a Continental Airlines in-flight magazine puff piece. This isn't exactly the Alamo in San Antonio or Pike Place Market in Seattle.


Well, if nothing else every national broadcast of a Guardians game is going to feature video of the statues, so that'll help the Q rating.
   54. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 27, 2021 at 12:54 PM (#6030721)
Well, if nothing else every national broadcast of a Guardians game is going to feature video of the statues, so that'll help the Q rating.


According to Twitter, the opening shot of the movie Major League is of one of the Guardians of Traffic.
   55. GregD Posted: July 27, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#6030726)
I find it a little odd to have spent a respectable amount of my traveling life in Cleveland and never having heard anyone mention it ever - nor, as I previously noted, did "Guardians" ever even get a mention in, say, a Continental Airlines in-flight magazine puff piece. This isn't exactly the Alamo in San Antonio or Pike Place Market in Seattle.


I agree this is true. It may double back on the earlier point about choosing a name that works for people who live there as opposed to tourists. Picking a thing people in town get but out of towners would never visit could work if it builds local affection. I've lived in other places that would love a name that only made sense to people who live there and would take pride in the fact it's confusing to outsiders--looking at you Philly. Can't say if that's true of Clevelanders.
   56. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: July 27, 2021 at 02:34 PM (#6030734)
Of course, I'm of the belief that the team's logo should be a stylized version of one of the Guardian's faces, so maybe no one should listen to me.
   57. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: July 27, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6030742)
logos should be something that a young kid can draw
   58. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6030903)
Small sample size, but all of my family members from Cleveland (none of whom are sports fans) instantly knew what the term Guardians was referring to. So that's not nothing.
   59. villageidiom Posted: July 28, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6030970)
Of course, I'm of the belief that the team's logo should be a stylized version of one of the Guardian's faces, so maybe no one should listen to me.
I assume we'll get guardian races on the warning track in the middle of the 5th inning.

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