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'It's a new chapter' — fans line up for hours to be first to snag official Guardians swag

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Posted at 3:13 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 19:03:03-05

CLEVELAND — Friday marks a fresh start at the end of the workweek for Cleveland’s Major League baseball team. After a rocky transition, the Cleveland Guardians rollout is officially underway.

News 5 spent Friday morning at the team store inside Progressive Field, but what also happened outside is getting a lot of attention.

With highly anticipated events come the long lines, and the new era at Progressive Field was no exception, with sports fans lining up hours before the team store opened.

RELATED: WATCH: Cleveland Guardians merchandise on sale at Progressive Field

Greg Foote and his son Justin found themselves all alone at 6:45 a.m.

"We just wanted to be able to experience something together, so the name change, to be able to be a part of something like this, we chose to be first in line," said Foote.

It may have been a cold and snowy mid-November morning, but those in line had summer ball and new beginnings on their minds.

"It's still the same team. We're not going to erase the history, but it's a new chapter," said David Lewton.

While there are naysayers, Lewton is defending the change to the Guardians.

"It's Major League caliber, it's Cleveland to the core," said Lewton.

When the gates to Progressive swing back open in the spring, we'll see plenty of new swag in the stands, as well as a nod to the team's past.

Some fans told News 5 they are going to mix and match everything.

As customers packed the team store, picking out Guardians gear, a crew from a local sign company was outside installing the new team store sign.

Slider gave the thumbs up as a crane put it in place.

But about a half-hour after being bolted to the ballpark, and with a worker still on a ladder, the sign came crashing to the ground.

The worker was not hurt.

RELATED: Smashing success: Cleveland Guardians team shop sign goes up and quickly comes back down

A few fans told News 5 off-camera they worry this is an "ominous sign" for the Guardians era.

We learned the Guardians team shop will still sell Indians and Chief Wahoo merchandise.

The organization said profits from the sale of those items will help fund diversity, equity and inclusion programs for young people.