MUSIC - all mixed up by the Cars
Photographed in 1991 and 1996 using film.
UPDATE - As of 2017, all but the 3rd base / left field stands, have been torn down.
Cooper Stadium - Opened in 1932 and closed in 2008. Cooper stadium sat abandoned for 7 years and finally fell to the wreckers ball in the spring of 2014. A racetrack will be built on the site.
Known as Red Bird Stadium 1932 - 1954, Jets Stadium 1955 - 1970, Franklin County Stadium 1970 - 1984, Cooper Stadium 1984 - 2008.
Location - 1125 W. Mound St. Columbus, Ohio -- Bounded by S. Princeton Ave., Mt. Calvary cemetery
Cooper stadium will breathe its last as a minor league park in 2008. A new facility, known now as Huntington stadium, is being constructed in the Arena district of Columbus. The new park will be very close to Nationwide arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. The new park will have all the modern comforts afforded a new stadium. It won't have the history (yet) of Cooper stadium.
Cooper stadium, or "the Coop," as locals call it, is located at 1125 W. Mound Street in a section of Columbus known as Franklinton. Built in 1931, it was originally called Redbird stadium from 1932 - 1954. It was renamed Jets stadium in 1955 and retained that name thru 1970. The name changed again, and it was known as Franklin County stadium till 1984. After the 1984 season, the name changed for the final time. The city decided to rename the facility Cooper stadium in honor of Harold Cooper. He was the county commissioner who helped keep baseball in Columbus during the 1950s.
The first major tenant of the Coop were the Columbus Redbirds. They were the top farm team of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Redbirds played in Columbus from 1931 thru the 1954 season, before flying the "coop" so to speak, for Omaha. The most famous Cardinal to play in Columbus was Enos "country" Slaughter. He went on to a hall of fame career with the Cardinals, Yankees, Athletics and Braves.
In 1955, the struggling Ottawa franchise relocated to Columbus and became the Jets. They joined forces with the Pittsburgh Pirates and remained in Columbus till 1970. Stadium problems forced the team to move to Charleston West Virginia, where they became the Charleston Charlies. After 6 years, the Pirates came back to Columbus and were reborn as the Clippers. After two seasons, the Pirates left and the New York Yankees moved in. They stayed in Columbus thru the 2006 season, only to move to Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, longtime triple A home of the Phillies. All in all, the minor leagues can be seen as a musical chairs of franchises. The year 2006 saw the Washington Nationals take over the Coop. They have retained the name Columbus Clippers and are poised to open the new park in 2009.
Columbus has seen it's share of great players pass thru. From Derek Jeter, to Don Mattingly, to Mariano Rivera, these players and many more have graced Cooper stadium's field. All told, Columbus has won 7 governor's cups, which is the International league championship. The last win was in 1996 when they defeated the Rochester Red Wings. The last appearance in the championship series (as of 2007) was in 1997 when they lost to the same Red Wings.
The final bell is tolling on Cooper stadium. The city will finally have a new park in 2009. So if you find yourself in Columbus during the 2008 season, stop by for a night of Triple A baseball at the Coop. The field where so many hall of famers and future hall of famers roamed. The Coop was the first minor league park to install Astroturf. Thank GOD they reverted back to natural grass for the 2000 season. Cooper stadium is in the autumn of its existence. May she go out on top!
Looking at Cooper stadium from the south parking lot. 9/91
The offices of the Clippers. 9/91
Five years later and the stadium looks pretty much the same. A cold winter day. 1/96
The turf is partially covered with snow. 1/96
The dugout in winter. 1/96
In 4 months, this concourse will be filled with fans cheering on their Clippers. 1/91
Cooper stadium is in it's farewell season. Soon, the snows of winter will give way to the wreckers ball. 1/96