The Cleveland Guardians are an American professional baseball team based in Cleveland. The Guardians compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. Since 1994, they have played at Progressive Field. Since their establishment as a Major League franchise in 1901, the team has won 10 Central division titles, six American League pennants, and two World Series championships, (in 1920 and 1948). The team’s World Series championship drought since 1948 is the longest active among all 30 current Major League teams. The team’s name references the Guardians of Traffic, eight monolithic 1932 Art Deco sculptures by Henry Hering on the city’s Hope Memorial Bridge, which is adjacent to Progressive Field. The team’s mascot is named “Slider.” The team’s spring training facility is at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona.
The franchise originated in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rippers, a minor league team based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that played in the Western League. The team relocated to Cleveland in 1900 and was called the Cleveland Lake Shores. The Western League itself was renamed the American League prior to the 1900 season while continuing its minor league status. When the American League declared itself a major league in 1901, Cleveland was one of its eight charter franchises. Originally called the Cleveland Bluebirds or Blues, the team was also unofficially called the Cleveland Bronchos in 1902. Beginning in 1903, the team was named the Cleveland Napoleons or Naps, after team captain Nap Lajoie.
Following Lajoie’s departure after the 1914 season, club owner Charles Somers requested that baseball writers choose a new name. They chose the name Cleveland Indians, a revival of the nickname that fans gave to the Cleveland Spiders while Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, was playing for the team. That name stuck and remained in use for more than a century. Common nicknames for the Indians were the “Tribe” and the “Wahoos”, the latter referencing their longtime logo, Chief Wahoo. After it came under criticism as part of the Native American mascot controversy, the team ceased using the name “Indians” following the 2021 season, and were renamed the Guardians for 2022.
From August 24 to September 14, 2017, the team won 22 consecutive games, the longest winning streak in American League history, and the second longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history.
As of the end of the 2021 season, the Guardians’ overall record is 9,592–9,144 (.512).
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