A few minutes before the newly-renamed Cleveland Guardians took the field to begin their Major League Baseball (MLB) playoff run Friday, Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan cheered on the team – by their old, now-politically-incorrect name.
“The road to the World Series begins today. Go Indians! #ForTheLand,” Rep. Jordan tweeted just before noon, as the American League Central champion Guardians prepared to take on the wild-card Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of the playoffs.
Cleveland had been the “Indians” for more than a century (1915-2021), before changing the team’s name to “Guardians” for the 2022 season, succumbing to pressure from left-wing activists claiming that the name “Indians” was racist.
Cleveland’s MLB team had gone by four different names, prior to adopting “Indians.” The new name, “Guardians,” is a reference to statues bookmarking an Ohio bridge, ESPN reports:
“Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14) and Indians (1915-2021).”
“Cleveland's new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices -- referred to as traffic guardians -- that flank both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown to Ohio City.”
Cleveland’s first-round playoff opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays, have also changed their name in the 21st century. When the MLB expanded in 1998, the team entered the league as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A decade later, the team dropped the “Devil” from its name.
“Though the ‘Devil’ part of the name was because of the rays found in the Tampa Bay area, some people had issues with the word in the team’s name. After nearly a decade as the Devil Rays, and countless phone calls pleading with the team to change the name, the team's new ownership, led by current owner Stuart Sternberg, decided that it was best to change the name to the Tampa Bay Rays. That change happened after the 2007 season.”