Being based in Columbus, we feel very fortunate to have a great AAA baseball team in town. For years I have attended “Dime-a-Dog” nights and proudly rang my bell for the Clippers in Cooper Stadium on the South Side of Columbus. The Clippers were the farm team for the NY Yankees from 1979-2006, and the Clippers saw some great players rise through their ranks including Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada.
The Yankees ended the relationship, and the Washington Nationals became the Clips MLB affiliate. Both teams’ contracts were up this season, and this left the door wide open for the much talked about partnership between the 2 Ohio clubs. The Indians announced Thursday that they had signed a four-year player development contract with the Columbus Clippers of the International League, marking the Tribe’s Triple-A move from Buffalo to Ohio’s state capital.
This deal makes perfect sense for all involved parties. Avid Indians fans from all over the state now can make a short trip to watch their prospects develop in Columbus. Columbus fans can make the 2+ hour trip to Cleveland and follow the former Clippers. This partnership will bring together two great baseball organizations, and make both stronger.
The Clippers will open the 2009 season in Huntington Park in the Arena District. The renderings of the park are outstanding, and I can see this becomeing a great attraction because of the new affiliation with the Indians, and also the location of the stadium in the heart of the Arena District. 2009 should be an exciting season for the Clippers and Columbus.