Tom Hamilton closes out 2021 by reminding Indians fans there’s more to a name.
The Cleveland Indians are no more and in 2022 the Cleveland baseball team will be renamed the Guardians. The organization decided to change its name for a variety of reasons, a name that was never truly accurate, and some fans aren’t happy about that. To them, it’s political. Because their whole life is politicized. It’s an “us vs. them” type of world and the idea of renaming a team can’t be seen as non-political; even if it’s done with the best of intentions. Enter Tom Hamilton.
Hamilton, or “Hammy” as he’s sometimes called, is the Guardians long-time announcer and easily one of the greatest play-by-play guys to ever call a game in any stadium, in any sport. He’s an icon in Cleveland and the voice of the franchise.
Even he thinks this is getting silly.
Tom Hamilton reminds fans that a name isn’t everything.
Some fans, in an attempt to maintain control, claim that this is a new team going forward, but it’s not. The records will remain the same, the linage isn’t affected. There’s no expansion draft or relocation. It’s simply a branding change. A branding change that is being used by politicians to further divide the country.
Yet, Hamilton reminded everyone that the team, regardless of the name, isn’t changing. That the memories don’t change with a new name.
Hamilton points out that we in Cleveland are lucky. Regardless of the name, we are among 30 cities in the world that have a Major League Baseball team. A claim that so many others wish they could make. He’s right. It seems rather petty, getting offended over a name of a team. The team isn’t going anywhere. The memories aren’t erased. They’re not banning past merchandise.
At the end of the day, nothing is really changing. Heck, the font and logo layout is still the same. This has been coming for a long, ever since the Indians got rid of Chief Wahoo, this was always the end game.
So yes, the name changes, but the game is coming back. Hamilton was wise to point out the memories aren’t going anywhere and the reasons to enjoy a game haven’t disappeared.
You don’t have to like the name change but you also don’t have to hate it. Accept things as they are, and you may find yourself still able to enjoy baseball in Cleveland. After all, baseball is fun and the Guardians have been one of the most fun teams of the last 30-odd years.