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Cooper Stadium

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800px-Cooper stadium interior.jpg
BUILT: 1932

Cooper Stadium is home to the Columbus Clippers of the International League. Named after Harold Cooper in 1984, the park was initially called Red Bird Stadium after its original occupants, the Columbus (OH) Red Birds.

Built in 1932 as the home of the Columbus Red Birds, Red Bird Stadium was known for its huge outfield - left field was 457' away and only Ralph Kiner and Joe DiMaggio managed to hit one over the wall there. Among the attendees of the first game were Branch Rickey and Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

When a group of Columbus baseball fans purchased the Ottawa A's and moved them to the city in 1955 to become the Columbus Jets, the fans also bought Red Bird Stadium from the St. Louis Cardinals. As the name, formerly given due to the presence of the Columbus Red Birds, was no longer appropriate, the park was renamed Jets Stadium. After the 1970 season, when Columbus officials refused to renovate the park at taxpayer expense, the Jets moved to Charleston, WV to become the Charleston Charlies.

After six years of disuse, in 1977 the former Jets Stadium was renovated and expanded (at taxpayer expense), renamed Franklin County Stadium, and became the first minor league ballpark to utilize Astroturf. The stadium served as the home for the Columbus Clippers of the International League. It also hosted the 1989 AAA All-Star Game.

In 1984, the ballpark was renamed Cooper Stadium in honor of Harold Cooper. In 2009, the Clippers are scheduled to leave Cooper Stadium and move into a new ballpark, Huntington Field.

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