- Location: Columbus, OH
- League: International League 1977-2019; Triple-A East 2021; International League 2022-
- Affiliation: Pittsburgh Pirates 1977-1978; New York Yankees 1979-2006; Washington Nationals 2007-2008; Cleveland Indians/Cleveland Guardians 2009-2019, 2021-present
- Ballpark: Cooper Stadium 1977-2008; Huntington Park 2009-present
The Columbus Clippers of the International League and briefly in Triple-A East, returned professional baseball to Columbus seven years after its Jets moved to Charleston, WV. The Cleveland Guardians farmhands play their home games at Huntington Park in Columbus, OH.
These boys of summer play in their parent club's old hometown. The Columbus Buckeyes joined the Western League in 1896, rebranding to Senators the next season. By the time the Western rebranded as the American League in 1900, they were in Cleveland, OH. The AL declared itself a second major league before the next season, earning that status in a brief but intense war with the National League.
The Clippers were a New York Yankees' affiliate for more than a quarter of a century, leading some to assume "Clippers" salutes Joe "The Yankee Clipper" DiMaggio. In fact, the first Clippers were future Pittsburgh Pirates. How, then, did an inland city end up naming its team for sea-going vessels? The image of slick, fast clipper ships did help the word win out, but it was only in the mix because of a sailor named Christopher (in the English version of his name) for whom the city is named. The club was a Washington Nationals' affiliate in the 2007-2008 affiliation cycle before joining up with the Tribe in 2009.
Columbus having professional baseball at all is simultaneously the product of a remarkable turn-around in municipal attitude and a remarkable success. In 1970, the Columbus Jets became untenable when Franklin County, OH, declined to invest in renovating Franklin County Stadium; they were soon purchased by a Charleston, WV, businessman who promptly moved them there. However, when the Memphis Blues folded after the 1976 season, Franklin County purchased their International League franchise, renovated the same stadium, and set up shop as a minor league owner/operator. The purchase price of the Blues' franchise was $25,000, and the generally quoted value of today's Clippers is $25 million - a figure that, given the nearby (and then Low-A) Dayton Dragons' reported 2014 purchase price of $40 million, is probably half what the club would actually bring.
The Clippers play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Veleros de Columbus (Columbus Sailboats).
- J. David Herman: Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2019. ISBN 978-1-4962-0889-7