They could have been the Spiders. Instead, Cleveland’s major-league baseball team, known for more than a century as the Indians, will be called the Guardians. The change will take place at the end of the 2021 baseball season.
The “Guardians” name pays tribute to a Cleveland landmark: the twin Guardians of Traffic statues on the Hope Memorial Bridge, near the team’s home ballpark, Progressive Field. Sports Illustrated provided some historical detail:
The Guardians of Traffic statues have flanked both sides of the Hope Memorial Bridge since 1932. Each of the four-winged Art Deco figures sports winged helmets and crowns, and each statue holds a different vehicle to signify "the spirit of progress in transportation," per bridge engineer Wilbur Watson. Each guardian stands 43 feet tall, and they remain the only public Art Deco monuments in Cleveland.