As they've done in countless ninth innings over decades, fans in Progressive Field stood to cheer during the final three outs. It was different Monday. They chanted "Let's Go Indians!" One last time. The Indians won their final home game before becoming the Guardians, beating the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to close a run that started in 1915 and will continue next season with a new look and identity. Amed Rosario homered and Cal Quantrill pitched six strong innings to delight a Progressive Field crowd of 13,121 that came to see their team play with Indians written across their jerseys for the final time, the AP reports.
"Not all of us have been here for a long time, but we all respect what the Indians have meant to Cleveland for the last forever and I think we wanted to send people off on the right note," said Quantrill, who is 8-1 since July 1. "We’re very happy that this is how they will get to remember the Indians." The home finale ended a 106-year run in a city where the name will forever be attached to those of legendary players like Bob Feller, Larry Doby, and Jim Thome.
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. 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 lose in heartbreaking fashion. Now, baseball's longest current title drought carries on under a new name.
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