The MLB club formerly known as the Cleveland Indians officially switched its website over to the Cleveland Guardians while many were watching the "Thursday Night Football" NFL game and roughly 10 hours before the announced opening of a new-look team shop at Progressive Field that is selling Guardians merchandise never before available to the public.
As Mandy Bell wrote for the club's website, excited fans began lining up outside that store around 6:30 a.m. ET, 2.5 hours before the doors and the team's new era opened:
The next chapter of Cleveland Baseball starts now. pic.twitter.com/6Y2ARviK5C— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) November 19, 2021
"It was like when you think of when you were a little kid and you're waiting for Christmas morning," Guardians director of merchandising Karen Fox explained about Friday's events. "That's kind of how it feels for our merch team today and I'm sure the whole organization. Just here we are, a new era and you can see all the fans that are about it, too."
Social media pages for the Guardians are also using the new name.
As the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) noted, however, what began as a snowy morning in downtown Cleveland took an inauspicious turn after fans entered the Progressive Field shop as a newly branded store sign crashed to the ground:
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the incident.
Weather may have been to blame, but at least one account had some fun regarding the lawsuit previously filed by a roller derby team known as the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 that was settled earlier this week. Both organizations will go by the Guardians moving forward:
Indians fans and the Roller Derby team sabotaging the new Guardians storepic.twitter.com/i8SjAz6PNG— Front Office Sports (@FOS) November 19, 2021
"This kind of exceeds expectations," Fox added about fans waiting outside on a cold Friday morning simply to buy fresh gear and other merchandise. "Having people show up at 6:30, and then we had 100 people in by 9:14. You can kind of see the store looks like we're having a game today."
Fans looking for Guardians apparel unable to travel to downtown Cleveland can purchase items via the club's website or check other outlets located throughout Northeast Ohio beginning Tuesday. Individuals clinging to the past can still find Indians items on the Guardians online store, but supplies understandably are limited.