Cleveland takes team name off Progressive Field in preparation of becoming the Guardians in 2022

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The Cleveland Indians took a major step in their name change Tuesday. Workers started taking down the giant "Indians" sign at Progressive Park in anticipation of the team changing its name to the Cleveland Guardians for the 2022 season.

The sign — which spans 80-feet — hangs above the scoreboard in left field. The Brilliant Electric Sign Company, which is located in Ohio, will take down the sign over the next couple days, according to News 5 Cleveland.

The franchise took on a number of names during its early years of existence. Cleveland joined the American League in 1901 and were known as the Bluebirds. The team played as the Bronchos for a year, and then became the Cleveland Naps from 1903-14. The club adopted the Indians name in 1915, and retained that name until the 2021 season.

Cleveland Guardians already face lawsuit from roller derby team

It took years of protests, but Cleveland announced in July it would become the Guardians before the 2022 MLB season. The name refers to the "Guardians of Traffic" sculptures on the Hope Memorial Bridge in the city. 

The Guardians nickname isn't original within the city. A roller derby team has gone by the Cleveland Guardians since 2013, and is suing the baseball team for stealing the nickname. 

Tuesday's events suggest the baseball team isn't concerned about the lawsuit, and it's possible both sides will work things out before the start of the 2022 MLB season.

Workers begin to remove the large
Workers begin to take down the "Indians" sign at Progressive Field. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
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