Top 10 Columbus Clippers Facts You Didn’t Know

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Top 10 Columbus Clippers Facts You Didn’t Know

The Columbus Clippers are one of Triple-A Baseball’s exciting teams every sports fan needs to learn about. In fact, the Clippers are a Minor League farm club for the Cleveland Guardians. Any Columbus fan that bleeds Clippers blue will know every information possible, from the team winning back-to-back National Championships (2010 and 2011) to LouSeal and Krash being the official mascots. However, there are new Columbus Clippers facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to Top 10 Columbus Clippers Facts You Didn’t Know below!

10: Huntington Park Hosted its 1st No-Hitter in 2014

The Columbus Clippers know a thing or two when it comes to throwing no-hitters. In fact, the team has accomplished nine no-no’s in its history. The Clippers have thrown four no-hitters since 2011, which is the second most in that span behind the Durham Bulls with five. However, the majority of those recent Clippers no-no’s were achieved on the road. But fortunately, Huntington Park hosted its first no-hitter in 2014. 

In July 2014, the Clippers were taking on their West Division rival Louisville Bats. Columbus Right-Hander Tyler Cloyd threw the stadium’s first (and so far the only) no-hitter when he defeated the Bats 13-0. Cloyd compiled six strikeouts and tossed 88 pitches during that special night. As a matter of fact, he had a perfect game bid entering the ninth inning until that attempt was lost due to a hit-by-pitch. As of today, there are Clippers players who took part in the no-hitter that plays in the big leagues like Giovanny Urshela and Jesus Aguilar. 

9: Before LouSeal and Krash, Captain Clipper was Columbus’ Official Mascot

LouSeal and Krash the Parrot are perhaps the most remembered mascots in the history of the Clippers. They walked on top of the dugouts to take part in baseball’s traditional seventh inning stretch. In fact, the mascots meet-and-greet fans in the concourses for photos and autographs. By the way, LouSeal is not to be confused with another mascot of the same name for the San Francisco Giants. But did you know that before LouSeal and Krash, Captain Clipper was Columbus’ official mascot? 

Debuted in the early 1990s, Captain Clipper immediately fit the theme for the team’s pirate ship identity. He wore a 1700s style captains apparel and sported a mustache. However, Captain Clipper was hit with fan criticism as the decade went on. To clarify, the children were frightened by his appearance and parents felt his head was too off-putting. Eventually, Captain Clipper said his farewell in 1996 and was replaced by the team’s current mascot: LouSeal. 

8: The Clippers are the 3rd Team Since 2006 to Win Back-to-Back National Titles

The Columbus Clippers are one of the country’s most successful teams in the Minor Leagues. They have played in the National Championship Game four times since its debut in 2006. In addition, Columbus has won eleven International League titles since its inception in 1977. But in rare situations, winning a major championship in consecutive years can be a challenging and rewarding achievement. Believe it or not, the Clippers are the 3rd team since 2006 to win back-to-back national titles. 

In 2010, Columbus made its first ever appearance in the Triple-A National Championship Game. Unlike the World Series in the big leagues, the championship event was just a single game and not a series. Anyway, the Clippers defeated the Tacoma Rainiers in the 2010 edition 12-6. One year later, Columbus repeated as champions when they managed to beat the Omaha Storm Chasers 8-3. The Clippers are one of the three teams to win back-to-back national championships since 2006, along with the Storm Chasers and Sacramento River Cats. 

7: Huntington Park Hosted the All-Star Game & National Championship in the Same Year

Huntington Park is one of Ohio’s most visited baseball stadiums along with Progressive Field in Cleveland and Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Columbus ballpark is notable for the tree-level brick building at left field called the AEP Power Pavilion, which hosts food stands and additional seating. In fact, there are several windows outside the stadium’s right field wall where fans can take a peek at the game free of charge. Most importantly, Huntington Park was named the Best Triple-A Ballpark of the Year three times. But one time, the Columbus baseball stadium hosted both the All-Star Game and the National Championship Game in the same year. 

The 2018 season turned out to be a special one for the capital city of Ohio. In July, Huntington Park was the site for the Triple-A All-Star Game (1st such event in the state). In that contest, Team Pacific Coast defeated Team International by the final score of 12-7. A couple months later, Huntington Park served as the home for the 2018 National Championship Game. For the main edition, the Memphis RedBirds managed to beat the favored Durham Bulls 14-4. Not only is Columbus a great city for Clippers baseball, but the city is also a great host for major Minor League events. 

6: Columbus Clippers Won Four Team Awards Since Their Stadium Opened in 2009

Winning a high-profile award is considered a big deal in Triple-A Baseball, especially for those who are trying to get to the big leagues. If an athlete wins Pitcher of the Year or Rookie of the Year, then this scenario could increase his chances of getting called up to the Majors. Also, that player might face the possibility of receiving an invitation to Spring Training from his team’s parent club. Fortunately, for the Clippers, they have made Columbus proud by winning four team awards since Huntington Park’s opening in 2009. As a matter of fact, the team has won player awards along with national championships. 

The awards stretch began in 2011 when the Columbus Clippers completed the second part of the back-to-back titles. During that campaign, Mike Sarbaugh claimed Manager of the Year honors and Ken Schnacke won GM of the Year. Sarbaugh is currently the 3rd Base Coach for the Cleveland Guardians. In 2016, Clippers outfielder Yandy Diaz won Triple-A Baseball’s Rookie of the Year. Diaz has since been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays and has been on that Major League roster. Finally, Schnacke earned his second career Top Executive of the Year in 2018. 

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5: The Clippers’ Former Home, Cooper Stadium, Will be a Racetrack in a Revived Project

Cooper Stadium will always be remembered for serving as the home for the Columbus Clippers from its beginning in 1977 until 2008. The old venue was located just outside the city center, approximately a 10-15 minute drive from Huntington Park. The former Clippers ballpark was named after the late Harold Cooper, who was responsible for bringing professional baseball to the city of Columbus. Since the Clippers relocated to their downtown venue in 2009, Cooper Stadium was partially torn down. But did you know that the former site will become a racetrack as part of a revived project?

Once the Clippers era officially came to an end at Cooper Stadium, the 1st base side had to be demolished. Initially, the old Clippers land was going to be turned into a racetrack and was planning to incorporate the 3rd base grandstand. However, in 2018, there were reports that the project was scrapped as there hadn’t been much progress on construction. But recently, in 2022, the racetrack plan was revived after local officials gave their final approval. The Cooper Stadium site will include a racing venue along with residential and office buildings. 

4: The Clippers Played the Coldest Game in Franchise History in 2018

Uncontrollable weather is part of a baseball life cycle that happens every now and then. For instance, fans would have to seek shelter in the concourses if there’s a rain delay. Also, the contest would be stopped instantly if there was a nearby thunderstorm. One more thing to point out is that hurricanes can force teams to play their home games elsewhere. But if the baseball season starts in April in the northern part of the country, there’s a change that a baseball game could get played in extremely cold weather. 

Well, that’s what transpired when the Columbus Clippers were taking on the Pawtucket Red Sox in April 2018. As both teams were taking the field that day, the game time temperature was about 35 Degrees Fahrenheit. Lucky for the Clippers, they got to play a ballgame in their own stadium despite the wild weather. In the past, there was a rare occurrence where teams had to move to another location because of cold weather. In 2007, the Cleveland baseball club had to relocate to Milwaukee due to a snowstorm affecting northeast Ohio. 

3: Huntington Park’s Site was Previously Used by a State Prison

There are some interesting stories in regards to a stadium site’s history. Progressive Field sits on a property that was formerly used by a food market, while Minute Maid Park’s area used to be a city train station. Wrigley Field sat on land that was previously used by a priest school and church, while Fenway Park’s property used to be a garbage landfill. PNC Park’s site was formerly owned by industrial businesses and plants, while Dodger Stadium’s land was going to be a housing and office project. Surprisingly, Huntington Park lies on a site formerly occupied by a state prison. 

Opened in the 1830s, the Ohio Penitentiary became the official prison for the Buckeye State. The building, which stood where the Arena District is today, was operational until the 1980s due to its age. Following the closing, the state prison was abandoned for about ten years before receiving real estate interest. Eventually, the building that once housed inmates was taken down and the surrounding land became the Arena District. The entertainment area of Downtown Columbus has the following: Nationwide Arena (home of the Blue Jackets), shops, restaurants, a public park, and (of course) Huntington Park. 

2: Clippers Stadium Has Not Hosted a Live Music Concert Since 2012

It is a common practice for professional baseball venues to host live music concerts. In fact, there are big league teams that previously hosted large scale shows. Those teams were the following: Reds, Guardians, Tigers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Brewers, Mariners, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But believe it or not, Huntington Park has not hosted a live music concert since 2012. And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights. 

As a matter of fact, the Dave Matthews Band was the first act to perform a major show at the Clippers Ballpark. Some of the rock band’s most popular hits range from “Crush” to “Crash Into Me.” Two years later, classic rock group REO Speedwagon made an appearance at Huntington Park. They are notable for their high-demand songs like “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep On Loving You.” However, the downtown baseball stadium has not hosted a major big-name concert since REO Speedwagon in 2012. 

1: Huntington Park was Involved in a Lawsuit During the Construction Phase

Over the past couple decades, ballparks across the country can either be involved or directed at in a potential lawsuit. For example, an electrician sued the then-U.S. Cellular Field over a career-ending injury he suffered. Another example is that a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Truist Park because the husband got stuck in a walk-in freezer. In recent years, there were a couple situations where cases involving foul ball injuries had to be taken to court. But for Huntington Park, the Columbus stadium was involved in a lawsuit during the construction phase. 

A Pennsylvania plumbing firm, W.G. Tomko Inc., sought legal action against Franklin County officials in 2013 over lost insurance coverage. The company wanted to receive about $2 million when its workers initially came to the under-construction Huntington Park to install plumbing pipes. However, county officials then became suspicious when they found out that Tomko’s management was bypassing thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes. Eventually, the judge tossed the lawsuit in 2014 and ruled in favor of Franklin County officials. Huntington Park also had a history with another legal case where construction firms felt discriminated against for their low-bid status

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