The Columbus Clippers are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Columbus, Ohio. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team is owned by the government of Franklin County, Ohio.
Founded in 1977
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Cleveland Indians (2009–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Class titles (2)|
|League titles (11)|
|Division titles (17)|
|Wild card berths (1)|
|Nickname||Columbus Clippers (1977–present)|
|Colors||Navy, light blue, gray, white|
|Mascots||Krash and Lou Seal|
|Ballpark||Huntington Park (2009–present)|
|Cooper Stadium (1977–2008)|
|Franklin County Government|
|General Manager||Ken Schnacke|
The Clippers began play in 1977 as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, changing its affiliation to the New York Yankees in 1979, beginning a 28-year relationship that ended in 2006. An affiliation with the Washington Nationals lasted from 2007 to 2008. A four-year affiliation with the Cleveland Indians was announced on September 18, 2008. That working agreement with the Indians has since been extended four times, now through the 2020 season. Coincidentally, the major/minor league sports connection between Cleveland and Columbus is duplicated, but with reverse roles, in ice hockey, as the Cleveland Monsters are the top-level minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets.
In 2011, the team won back-to-back Governors' Cup championships for the first time since 1992 by defeating the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 3 games to 1 in the best-of-five series. They went on to defeat the Omaha Storm Chasers in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game to win their second consecutive Triple-A baseball title.
From 1977 to 2008, the Clippers played in Cooper Stadium, which was known as Franklin County Stadium until 1984. The final game at "The Coop" was played on September 1, 2008, in front of a sellout crowd of 16,777. It was the third largest audience in stadium history. In 2009, the Clippers began playing in Huntington Park, located at the corner of Neil Ave. and Nationwide Blvd. in the Arena District of Columbus.
The 1992 Clippers were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. In 2016, Forbes listed the Clippers as the fifth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $41 million.
The Clippers have won the Governors' Cup, the International League championship, 11 times, and played in the championship series 14 times.
- 1979 – Defeated Tidewater 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Syracuse 4-3 to win championship.
- 1980 – Defeated Richmond 3-2 in semifinals; defeated Toledo 4-1 to win championship.
- 1981 – Defeated Rochester 3-2 in semifinals; defeated Richmond 2-1 to win championship.
- 1982 - Lost to Tidewater 3-0 in semifinals.
- 1983 - Lost to Tidewater 3-2 in semifinals.
- 1984 - Lost to Pawtucket 3-1 in semifinals.
- 1985 – Defeated Syracuse 3-1 in semifinals; lost to Tidewater 3-1 in finals.
- 1987 – Defeated Rochester 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Tidewater 3-0 in finals.
- 1990 – Lost to Rochester 3-2 in finals.
- 1991 – Defeated Pawtucket 3-0 to win championship.
- 1992 – Defeated Richmond 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3-2 to win championship.
- 1996 – Defeated Norfolk 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Rochester 3-0 to win championship.
- 1997 – Defeated Charlotte 3-1 in semifinals; lost to Rochester 3-2 in finals.
- 1999 - Lost to Durham 3-0 in semifinals.
- 2004 - Lost to Richmond 3-2 in semifinals.
- 2010 – Defeated Scranton Wilkes-Barre 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Durham 3-1 to win championship.
- 2011 – Defeated Durham 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Lehigh Valley 3-1 to win championship.
- 2014 - Lost to Durham 3-1 in semifinals.
- 2015 – Defeated Norfolk 3-2 in semifinals; defeated Indianapolis 3-2 to win championship.
- 2016 – Lost to Gwinnett Braves 3-1 in semifinals.
- 2019 – Defeated Gwinnett Stripers 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Durham 3-0 to win championship.
Columbus Clippers roster
- Brad Ausmus
- Mike Bacsik
- Steve Balboni
- Dale Berra
- Mike Blowers
- Emilio Bonifacio
- Jay Buhner
- Michael Brantley
- Melky Cabrera
- Robinson Canó
- Carlos Carrasco
- Mike Clevinger
- Bubba Crosby
- Bucky Dent
- Jim Deshaies
- Josh Donaldson
- Scooter Gennett
- Brad Gulden
- Drew Henson
- Trey Hillman
- Rex Hudler
- Hideki Irabu
- Derek Jeter
- Austin Kearns
- Roberto Kelly
- Jason Kipnis
- Corey Kluber
- Francisco Lindor
- Ken Macha
- Lou Marson
- Don Mattingly
- Hensley Meulens
- Hal Morris
- Charles Nagy (pitching coach)
- Otis Nixon
- Dan Pasqua
- Scott Patterson
- Carlos Peña
- Andy Pettitte
- Vinnie Pestano
- Andy Phillips
- Jorge Posada
- Scott Radinsky (pitching coach)
- José Ramírez
- Dave Righetti
- Mariano Rivera
- Deion Sanders
- Carlos Santana
- Buck Showalter
- Grady Sizemore
- J.T. Snow
- Alfonso Soriano
- Darryl Strawberry
- Steve Taylor
- Chien-Ming Wang
- Bernie Williams
- Alex White
- Randy Velarde
Columbus has been the former home of many current MLB broadcasters. Below is Clippers broadcast alumni and the MLB teams they were with after they left Columbus and in parentheses are the years that the broadcaster broadcast games for the team.
- Jack Buck, St. Louis Cardinals 1954 – 59, 1961–2001, (broadcaster with the Columbus Red Birds in 1952)
- Pat Hughes, Minnesota Twins 1983, Milwaukee Brewers 1984 – 95, Chicago Cubs 1996–present, (1982)
- John Gordon, New York Yankees 1982 – 86, Minnesota Twins 1987–2011, (1977–81)
- Terry Smith, Los Angeles of Anaheim 2002–present, (1983–2001)
- Tom Hamilton, Cleveland Indians 1990–present, (1987–89)
- Rick Rizzs, Seattle Mariners 1983–1991, 1995–present, Detroit Tigers, 1992–1994, (1981–1982)
Before the Clippers
Except for six seasons (1971–76), professional baseball has been played in Columbus since 1894. It has been represented in the highest levels of minor league baseball for all but six years since 1902, at first in the American Association (1902–54) by the Columbus Senators and Columbus Red Birds, and since then in the International League. The first IL team in Ohio's capital, the Columbus Jets, was the transplanted Ottawa Athletics which moved to Columbus in 1955. While playing for its first two seasons as the top farm club of the Kansas City Athletics, the Jets spent the next 14 years as a top affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates (whose owner, John Galbreath, hailed from Columbus). The franchise moved to Charleston, West Virginia, as the Charleston Charlies in 1971.
- Castrovince, Anthony (September 18, 2008). "Indians' Triple-A affiliate now Columbus". MLB.com. Retrieved September 18, 2008.
- "Indians, Clippers extend agreement through 2014". USA Today. September 23, 2010.
- "Tribe-Columbus Clippers extend contract through 2016". Cleveland.com. September 3, 2012.
- Hoynes, Paul (8 November 2017). "Cleveland Indians, Columbus Clippers extend player development contract through 2020". cleveland.com. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Clippers 4, IronPigs 1: Back-to-back championships". Columbus Dispatch. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Massie, Jim (2011-09-21). "Clippers are Triple-A champs with 8-3 win over Omaha". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Top 100 Teams". MiLB.com. 2001. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 5. Columbus Clippers". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.