Unlocking Guardians begins by smashing the store banner
Cleveland – A special opening day for the newly named Cleveland Guardians began with great fanfare.
Not the one they were hoping for, either.
As fans were buying up the first available Guardians merchandise on Friday as the team officially moved in from the Indians after 106 years, a banner installed outside the team shop at Progressive Field broke free from its mountain and crashed onto the sidewalk.
“Well, that’s an ominous sign,” one onlooker shouted.
A worker on a ladder was checking bolts when the sign cut a small section of the ballpark’s stone exterior, fell about 15 feet and shattered into pieces. No one is hurt.
Fans started lining up early in the morning to buy new hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts and other gear bearing the Guardians logos.
“It kind of exceeds expectations,” said Karen Fox, director of marketing for the team. “Having people at 6:30, then we’ve got 100 people by 9:14. You can see the store looks like we’re having a game of the day.”
The team also changed its social media handles to complete the change, a process that began in June 2020, when owner Paul Dolan announced that a Major League Baseball team was dropping the Indians in the wake of a social account of racial names and symbols.
The Guardians ran into legal trouble along the way as a local derby team called The Guardians filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement. The two sides reached an amicable decision earlier this week allowing both to use the name.
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