The Cleveland Guardians are an American professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. 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. The team's spring training facility is at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona. 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 franchise originated in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers, a minor league team in the Western League. The team relocated to Cleveland in 1900 and was renamed the Cleveland Lake Shores. The Western League itself was renamed the American League while continuing its minor league status. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the major league incarnation of the club was founded in Cleveland in 1901. Originally called the Cleveland Bluebirds, the team played in League Park until moving permanently to Cleveland Stadium in 1946. The Bluebirds name proved unpopular, and in 1903, the team was nicknamed the Cleveland 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, officially becoming the Guardians.
From August 24 to September 14, 2017, the Indians won 22 consecutive games, the longest winning streak in American League history.
As of the end of the 2021 season, the Guardians' overall record is 9,592–9,144 (.512).
Progressive Field is a baseball park located in the downtown area of Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is the home field of the Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball (MLB) and, together with Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, is part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex. It was ranked as MLB's best ballpark in a 2008 Sports Illustrated fan opinion poll.
The ballpark opened as Jacobs Field in 1994 to replace Cleveland Stadium, which the team had shared with the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. Since 2008, the facility has been named for Progressive Corporation, based in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield, which purchased naming rights for $58 million over 16 years. The previous name came from team owners Richard and David Jacobs, who had acquired naming rights when the facility opened. The ballpark is still often referred to as "The Jake" based on its original name.
When it opened, the listed seating capacity was 42,865 people and between 1995 and 2001 the team sold out 455 consecutive regular-season games. Modifications over the years resulted in several moderate changes to the capacity, peaking at 45,569 in 2010. After the 2014 and 2015 seasons, the facility was renovated in two phases, which upgraded and reconfigured several areas of the park and reduced seating capacity. As of 2021, the official seating capacity is listed at 34,830 people, though additional fans can be accommodated through standing room areas and temporary seating.
Since moving to Progressive Field, the Guardians have won 10 Central Division titles and have hosted playoff games in 12 seasons, the most recent being in 2020. In the 1997 season, it became one of the few facilities in baseball history to host the MLB All-Star Game and games of the World Series in the same season. The Indians have hosted games of the American League Championship Series in five seasons and have advanced to the World Series three times at the park.