In memoriam: The Cleveland Indians

A 116 year era comes to an end

Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 marked a day full of mixed feelings for Cleveland sports fans. While the Browns played their hearts out in a gutsy win in Minnesota, approximately a thousand miles away the Cleveland Indians would win their final game ever. It was a 6-0 rout over the Texas Rangers in Arlington with Aaron Civale taking home his 12th win of the season.

In a season riddled with injuries, the Indians played their hearts out to the end. It is the first losing season the Indians have had under Terry Francona’s rule and ends his streak of sixteen consecutive winning seasons. While it is the necessary end of a historic franchise name, there are plenty of positives that Cleveland fans have been able to witness even within the last 20 years.

Over the last 116 years, the Indians have accumulated 15 playoff appearances including six which ended in them making the World Series. Of those six, two ended with the trophy coming to Cleveland. In recent years, the Tribe has made plenty of history, no one will forget the 22-game win streak back in 2017 that broke the 2002 Oakland Athletics record.

There were also 455 straight sold-out games from 1995 to 2001. Players like Bob Feller, Jim Thome, and Nap Lajoie have all left their mark on this city and their names bring joy to Clevelanders all over. From Len Barker throwing a perfect game to Rajai Davis hitting a massive home run in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series, the history of the Indians will never be forgotten.

Fans holding up Cleveland Indians signs. Photo by Jamison Schroeder

The name change will hopefully breathe new life into the team as they try to shed their history of blown leads. Even mentioning the 2016 World Series brings pain to any die-hard Clevelander- some may still have nightmares anytime a rain delay occurs. 2007 is another year that had so much potential but was marred by a blown 3-1 lead to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

The Indians are the definition of so close yet so far, it may be good to see just what the rejuvenated Guardians will be able to accomplish. The Guardians, should they stay healthy, will be one of the best teams in the entire league. They have such a promising future and the whole team seems excited to usher in this new era of Cleveland baseball. 

The Indians not only won their final game of the season, but they also won their final home game on Sept. 27. As the team walked off the field for the final time with Indians script across their chest, they tipped their hats to the fans as many were seen crying and hugging realizing this was the end of an era.

The sun sets behind the Progressive Field sign. Photo by Jamison Schroeder

Signs were out in full force that day with many still coming to terms with the name change. Similar to Jacobs Field turning into Progressive Field, it will take people some time to adjust to the new name. For some, they may never make this adjustment but for the rest of the world, this is a breath of fresh air away from its troubled past.

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