The team announced the name change earlier this year in the wake of a nationwide reckoning over racist names and symbols. For some, the change was overdue. Others still aren’t ready.
When “Take Me Out to The Ballgame” was played during the seventh-inning stretch, Cleveland fans shouted “root, root, root for the Indians!” as if to send a message.
Following the game, Cleveland’s players returned to the field to salute the fans.
“I thought it was a nice touch,” said acting Indians manager DeMarlo Hale. “They were outstanding in the ninth inning, that last out. Both very nice gestures.”
Cleveland won two World Series (1920 and 1948) as the Indians, and came close to winning it all in 1995, 1997 and 2016 only to twice lose in heartbreaking fashion. Now, baseball’s longest current title drought carries on under a new name.
The adjustment allowed fans who wouldn’t have otherwise attended to catch history, and there were lines at the ballpark’s ticket office — an uncommon sight for a team that has struggled with attendance.
Ed Sosinski of Wickliffe, Ohio, nabbed a pair of seats in the upper deck, partly as a birthday present for his wife, Michelle, and to close a chapter.
“I was here for their first exhibition game in 1994, and I thought it was appropriate to come for the last game as Indians,” he said. “I had no excuse not to come.”