The Cleveland Indians will soon be a named something different.
The Cleveland Indians are changing their name soon, it’s happening. There’s no stopping this train. If you love baseball in Cleveland, the best bet is to just accept this reality. As a lifelong Cleveland fan, it really isn’t an issue what’s on the front of the jersey, just as long as that jersey is playing ball at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario 81+ times a year.
The team has already stated that the team won’t retain any form of first nation terminology so “Indians”, “Tribe” or anything similar will be ruled out. ESPN claims that three of the names most fans are pushing are Spiders, Gladiators, and Avengers.
Spiders pay tribute to the original Cleveland baseball team and have no direct ties to the current Indians’ franchise. The Guardians serve as a nod to the guardian statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge that leads right to Progressive Field’s front door. The Avengers is a baffling one, with it having no real ties to the city other than the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe having filmed several feature films in Cleveland. Most notably The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The Indians should consider The Guardians if any of the three listed.
Of the three, the Guardians are the most marketable. People don’t like Spiders and Disney seems like they’d be a real problem if the team were to go with the Avengers. The Guardians make the most sense with the team.
There are other names they could consider, like the Gladiators or the Rockers, nods to past pro sports teams from the area. They could also embrace something more unique, like how Seattle went with the mythical creature the Kraken or how Las Vegas named their team the Golden Knights. Neither name fits the city but it fits the identity the teams were going for.
The problem is, both of those teams were NHL expansion teams and the Indians are looking to rename themselves after 100 years+ of existence with that name. So whatever the name ends up being has to be unique and well-received.