Following the completion of the 2021 MLB season, the Cleveland Indians will be no more. No, the team isn’t leaving baseball all together… they’ll just be changing their name. Gianmarco Castronovo talks about the name change and shares some special baseball history:

The Cleveland Indians are no more.  They’ll be getting a name change.  But it’s not the first time the team has traded their name in.  Actually, it will be the second time in the team’s history that they’ve decided to change the team name.  Originally, the Cleveland baseball team was called the Cleveland Spiders.  It wasn’t until 1915 that the team would become known as the Cleveland Indians; a name they have maintained for over a century since.

Recently, the Cleveland MLB team officially announced that they would be changing their name from the Indians to the Guardians.  This change, according to Gianmarco Castronovo’s sources, will be effective next season.  Team owner and chairman Paul Dolan expressed that the name change was not a split second decision.  He also explained that the name “Guardians” maintains an important meaning.  The choice of “Guardians” hopes to reflect “the pride, resilience and loyalty of Clevelanders.”

For years, the team’s name has often been looked at as outdated and offensive to Native Americans.  But that is simply the modern interpretation of the Cleveland Indians namesake.  In reality, the team name was selected purely out of respect.  Ironic to the way the public may view the name today, the Cleveland Indians were actually so named as a way to honor Louis Sockalexis.  A Penobscot tribe member, Sockalexis was the first Native American to play Major league Baseball in 1897.  During his career, the player endured a great deal of racism from fans and attendees of the Cleveland Spiders’ games.  When he took to the field, fans would mock him with war whoops and offensive interpretations of war dances which are sacred to the Native American people.  In 1915, the team decided to take on a name change from the Spiders to the Indians, in honor of the historic team player.  Living relatives of Sockalexis have expressed that they’re disappointed in the name change.  But they are pleased with the team’s decision to do away with the Chief Wahoo mascot, which happened two years ago.