Guardians Greeted With 'Ominous Sign' As Team Store Logo Smashed Hours After Name Change

The Cleveland Major League Baseball franchise's first day as the Guardians started off with a bang, although not a good one.

A sign installed outside the Cleveland Guardians' team store fell from its mount, crashing onto the sidewalk below. The crash occurred around 40 minutes after the store opened. A worker was seen checking the bolts on the sign when it snapped from a section of the store's exterior, according to KSAT.

One onlooker yelled out, "Well, that's an ominous sign!"

The sidewalk was then closed off by authorities as workers cleaned up the area. The crash occurred as Guardians memorabilia officially went on sale. This new sale resulted in long lines outside the ballpark store.

"This kind of exceeds expectations," said the team's director of merchandising, Karen Fox, of the large crowds. "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."

Cleveland fans also approved of the new merchandise and name. Local news website interviewed people who got their hands on the new swag, and they are excited about the team's future.

"It's a new beginning," said fan Tom Sherpak after purchasing a new Cleveland Guardians baseball hat. "How weird that a new hat and a T-shirt can get you excited about baseball in November? But I can't wait to see this logo on the players next season."

The team's social media channels were also changed to the new name. No onlookers or employees were injured in the event, which has been deemed as an accident.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Smashed Sign
Workers from the Brilliant Electric Sign Company put out caution tape as pieces of the Cleveland Guardians team store sign lie on the ground in Cleveland, November 19, 2021. The sign was being installed and fell off the building 40 minutes after the store opened on the first sale day of the new memorabilia. AP Photo/Ken Blaze

The team officially transitioned from Indians after 106 years.

Fans began lining up early in the morning to buy new caps, sweatshirts, T-shirts and other gear bearing the Guardians' logos.

The process began in June 2020, when owner Paul Dolan announced the Major League Baseball team was dropping the Indians name in the wake of a social reckoning on racist names and symbols.

The Guardians ran into a legal issue along the way as a local roller derby team also called the Guardians filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement. The sides reached an amicable resolution earlier this week allowing both to use the name. Newsweek previously reported that the resolution of this lawsuit allowed merchandise to be put on sale for the public.

"The Cleveland Guardians Baseball Company, LLC and Guardians Roller Derby are pleased to announce an amicable resolution of the lawsuit filed by Guardians Roller Derby," the statement said, "whereby both organizations will continue to use the Guardians name."

Guardians Store
Fans shop in the Cleveland Guardians team store at Progressive Field on November 19, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Indians officially changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images