Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bye-Bye Coop

Cooper Stadium -- the home of minor league baseball in my very own Columbus, Ohio since the early 1930s -- saw its last game last night. Next season the Clippers move into a shiny new downtown park. In the meantime, the order of the say was nostalgia, as the Clippers invited back anyone who ever spent some quality time toiling at the Coop to bid the place adieu:

Two dozen former players returned for the finale. Most came for the same reason that brought Chris Welsh from Cincinnati. Now a broadcaster for the Reds, Welsh pitched for championship teams with the Clippers in 1979 and '80.

"I grew up in Cincinnati, and being able to play triple-A so close to home, my mom and dad could come up and watch me play," Welsh said. "The other thing is we won.
Coming up in the Yankee organization, we won at every level, and we were expected to win. I learned a lot here. When you can bring back those times when you competed and came out on top, I think it's special."

Players through the years always seemed to feel the same way. Bowling Green University baseball coach Danny Schmitz played for the Clippers in the '79, '80 and '81 championship seasons.

"If you couldn't play in the big leagues, Columbus was the place to be," Schmitz said.
Sheesh, don't I know it.


JRJ said...

I went to my last game there on Sunday night. Sad to see it go.

Michael said...

You know what, teams getting a new ballpark is not attrative to me. If anything, I prefer sentiment over jumbotrons.