Cooper Stadium: When Memories Become Eyesores

Photo is courtesy of http://www.baseballtrips.net/

 

Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

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We all have places that we cherish from our childhood.  This is especially true when it comes to sports venues.  There’s a reason that the good folks of the Navin Field Grounds Crew give so much of their time and energy to illegally tend the ball diamond that once was Tiger Stadium.

But sometimes, we just need to let things go.  This is very true with one of the great sporting venues of my childhood, Cooper Stadium in Columbus, OH.

Cooper Stadium was the longtime home of the Columbus Clippers.  At the time, they were the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.  This gave Clipper fans the opportunity to see many great players before they got their big shot…Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Andy Pettitte just to name a few.

Since then, the Clippers have moved into a new, and very nice, stadium that is located downtown.  The Clippers have been in Huntington Park for several seasons now, won a couple of titles, and have generally forgotten about their old home…much like everyone else in this city.

This is the state of Cooper Stadium now:

Photo is courtesy of Matt Shock

Photo is courtesy of Matt Shock

Photo is courtesy of Matt Shock

As you can see, time has taken its toll on the old girl.

Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend that it wasn’t time for the Clippers to move to a new stadium.  Cooper Stadium was full of “romantic quirks” (i.e. it smelled like a mix of beer and pee, traffic was a nightmare, and the seats were cramped).  The stadium is located in a crappy part of town, the city has obviously moved on, and it’s time for something to be done.

There have been several proposed plans for the site, one of which was a motocross track.  But concerns from residents in German Village about noise have pretty well shut that down.

Cooper Stadium has historical significance to America’s pastime, I’m not one to dismiss that, but sometimes you just have to let go.  Do I miss taking in games at this old ball yard?  Absolutely, but I hate seeing this place getting the same treatment as Tiger Stadium a whole lot more.  When memories become eyesores, it’s time for them to meet the wrecking ball.