Indians To Columbus Finally Official
This agreement marks the first time the Indians and Columbus Clippers have been affiliated in the 32-year history of the Clippers organization. Columbus had been affiliated with the Washington Nationals the last two seasons (2007-08) after a 28-year relationship with the New York Yankees from 1979-2006. In 2009, the Clippers are poised to move into brand new Huntington Park, which is located in the trendy downtown Arena District following the closing of Cooper Stadium on September 1.
"Partnering with the Columbus Clipper organization is a tremendous opportunity for the Indians organization to affiliate with a first-class organization in the vibrant capital city located in the heart of our fan base," said Cleveland Indians President PAUL DOLAN. "It's an exciting time for both organizations, as well as for the baseball fans of Ohio."
"The Columbus community is excited and ecstatic that we have this opportunity to align with the Cleveland Indians," said Columbus Clippers President and General Manager KEN SCHNACKE. "The enthusiasm in and around the Central Ohio area is a testament to the popularity of this new partnership. The Columbus Clippers organization along with the Franklin County Commissioners and our board of directors are equally as excited as our fan base. Tomorrow at 1:00PM ET, Cleveland Indians President Paul Dolan and Vice President, Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti will be at Huntington Park for a press conference to formerly introduce this new 4-year partnership."
Added Dolan: "We would like to thank Bob and Mindy Rich, the entire Buffalo Bisons organization and the Bisons fans for their support the past 14 years. Our affiliation coincided with the organization's renewed commitment to the foundation of the franchise - its Player Development System - and the Bisons organization played a major role in our success during that time. Today's announcement is a result of a unique opportunity presented the Indians organization. We wish the Rich family and the Bisons organization much success in the future."
With the addition of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, the Indians now possess four of their top five minor league affiliates within the State of Ohio (AA Akron, A Lake County, Short-Season A Mahoning Valley). All four of those affiliates are located within a two and a half hour drive from Progressive Field.