Columbus Clippers

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]

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.[1] 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).

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach Coach
1977 65-75 7th Tim Murtaugh (10-24) / Johnny Lipon (54-51)
1978 61-78 7th Johnny Lipon Cot Deal
1979 85-54 1st Gene Michael League Champs Mickey Vernon Stan Williams Jerry McNertney
1980 83-57 1st Joe Altobelli League Champs Sammy Ellis Jerry McNertney
1981 88-51 1st Frank Verdi League Champs Sammy Ellis Jerry McNertney
1982 79-61 2nd Frank Verdi Lost in 1st round Sammy Ellis Jerry McNertney
1983 83-57 1st Johnny Oates Lost in 1st round Mickey Vernon Mark Connor Jerry McNertney
1984 82-57 1st Stump Merrill Lost in 1st round Mickey Vernon Mark Connor/? Gil Patterson
1985 75-64 3rd Doug Holmquist (10-12) / Stump Merrill (65-52) Lost League Finals Mickey Vernon Q.V. Lowe Jerry McNertney
1986 62-77 6th (t) Barry Foote Brian Butterfield Dave LaRoche
1987 77-63 2nd Bucky Dent League Champs Champ Summers Ken Rowe
1988 65-77 5th Bucky Dent Champ Summers Ken Rowe
1989 77-69 3rd (t) Bucky Dent (68-62) / Rick Down (9-7) Champ Summers Ken Rowe Gary Tuck
1990 87-59 2nd Stump Merrill (34-25) / Rick Down (53-34) Lost League Finals Clete Boyer Ken Rowe Trey Hillman
1991 85-59 1st Rick Down League Champs Clete Boyer Russ Meyer Gary Denbo
1992 95-49 1st Rick Down League Champs Ted Uhlaender Mike Brown Howard Cassady
1993 78-62 3rd Stump Merrill Ted Uhlaender Mike Brown Howard Cassady
1994 74-68 4th Stump Merrill Tom Spencer Nardi Contreras Howard Cassady
1995 71-68 4th Bill Evers Gary Denbo Dave Schuler Howard Cassady
1996 85-57 1st Stump Merrill League Champs Oscar Acosta Howard Cassady & Rob Thomson
1997 79-63 3rd Stump Merrill Lost League Finals Oscar Acosta Howard Cassady & Rob Thomson
1998 67-77 12th Stump Merrill Oscar Acosta Howard Cassady
1999 83-58 1st Trey Hillman Lost in 1st round Bill Robinson Rick Tomlin Howard Cassady
2000 75-69 8th Trey Hillman Bill Robinson Rick Tomlin/ Greg Pavlick Howard Cassady
2001 67-76 9th Trey Hillman Bill Robinson Greg Pavlick Howard Cassady
2002 59-83 12th Brian Butterfield (12-25) / Frank Howard (3-4)
/ Stump Merrill (44-53)
Dan Radison Tom Filer Howard Cassady
2003 76-68 4th Bucky Dent Sal Rende Neil Allen Howard Cassady
2004 80-64 3rd Bucky Dent Lost in 1st round Kevin Long Neil Allen
2005 77-67 5th Bucky Dent Kevin Long Gil Patterson Frank Howard
2006 69-73 9th Dave Miley Kevin Long Neil Allen Frank Howard
2007 64-80 11th (t) John Stearns Bobby Williams Steve McCatty Boots Day
2008 69-73 7th (t) Tim Foli Rick Eckstein Steve McCatty
2009 57-85 13th Torey Lovullo Jon Nunnally Scott Radinsky
2010 79-65 4th Mike Sarbaugh League Champs Lee May Jr. Charles Nagy
2011 88-56 1st Mike Sarbaugh League Champs Lee May Jr. Ruben Niebla
2012 75-69 6th Mike Sarbaugh Phil Clark Ruben Niebla
2013 71-73 8th Chris Tremie Phil Clark Tony Arnold
2014 79-65 2nd (t) Chris Tremie Lost in 1st Round Jim Rickon Tony Arnold
2015 83-61 1st(t) Chris Tremie League Champs Rouglas Odor Carl Willis/Tony Arnold
2016 82-62 3rd Chris Tremie Lost in 1st round Rouglas Odor Steve Karsay Omir Santos
2017 71-71 6th (t) Chris Tremie Rouglas Odor Steve Karsay
2018 73-67 5th Chris Tremie Johnny Narron Steve Karsay Bobby Magallanes
2019 81-59 1st Tony Mansolino League Champs Andy Tracy Rigo Beltran Kyle Hudson
2020 Season cancelled
2021 56-62 13th Andy Tracy 3-6 Jason Esposito Rigo Beltran J.T. Maguire
2022 Andy Tracy Jason Esposito Rigo Beltran Kyle Lindquist

Further Reading[edit]

  • 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

External Link[edit]