Shortly after the press conference came to an end, fans of the franchise received an email from Dolan, who expressed excitement over the new name while acknowledging that while some may be upset by the change.
“As a fifth generation Clevelander, I understand the historic impact and importance of the decision to change our team name,” Dolan wrote. “Like most of you, I grew up with the name Indians. My first Indians heroes were the great Rocky Colavito and Sonny Siebert. My bond to the Tribe was secured then and my fandom has only grown over the years. The successes we enjoyed and shared in the last three decades as Indians – the World Series appearances, Cy Young Award winners, longest win streak in MLB history, and so many other great accomplishments will always be unforgettable Indians memories for all of us.
“Those memories do not diminish with a new name. Indians will always be part of our history just as Cleveland has always been the most important part of our identity.”
The Indians’ announcement comes nearly one year after the team first announced that it was having discussions regarding the future of its name, which has been considered to be offensive to Native Americans. The franchise said that it conducted 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel before settling on its new name.
“In searching for a new brand, we sought a name that strongly reflects the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders,” Dolan wrote. “Guardians embodies those defining attributes while drawing upon the iconic Guardians of Traffic proudly standing just outside Progressive Field on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we stand for each other while defending our Cleveland baseball family.
“We acknowledge the name change will be difficult for many of us, and the transition will take time. It is our hope and belief this change will divert us from a divisive path, and instead steer us towards a future where our fans, city, and region are all united as Cleveland Guardians.”
You can watch Dolan’s full press briefing in the video player below.