Photos: Farewell to the coop

 
 

Messenger photo by Pat Donahue

One of if not the biggest influences in bringing baseball back to Columbus, stadium namesake Harold Cooper, threw out the final first pitch at Cooper Stadium to start the Sept. 1 game against the Toledo Mud Hens. Huntington Park, the new home of the Clippers, will open with the start of next season.

 
 

Nine-year-old Patrick Linebrink of Blacklick and sister Alexandra added Clipper Pitcher Jim Ed Warden to their autograph collections. The sisters were among the near record crowd that made their way to the Coop on Sept. 1 for the stadium’s final game.

 
 

County Commissioners (left to right) Mary Jo Kilroy, Paula Brooks and Marilyn Brown start the home plate on its journey down the first base line through the hands of the guests that have had a great influence to baseball in Columbus and on its way to its new home in Huntington Park.

 
 

Many celebrity guests that influenced Columbus baseball were honored prior to the final game. Leading the way were (left to right) Don Leppert who caught for the Columbus Jets in 1961 and was their player-coach in 1966, in between he played for the Pittsburg Pirates and Washington Senators; George Spencer of Bexley who pitched for the Jets in 1960 and 1963, who pitched for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series; and John Romanowsky who played for the Red Birds in 1953-54 as well as for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Senators.

 
 

Singing the National Anthem for the last time struck a sentimental nerve and triggered many memories throughout the packed house that filled Cooper Stadium one last time.

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