September 21, 2010
Surprise, we’re not done. We have a few more championship games to cover from Indians minor league history!
The 2010 Triple-A National Championship Game was a historical one from a national perspective as it was the final one played at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. While the possibility of such a move had been presaged a season earlier by the events renaming from its original moniker of the Bricktown Showdown, the title tilt becoming a traveling show (including at Huntington Park in 2018 – the Clippers remain the only team to host the season finale and the Triple-A All-Star Game in the same season) was now a reality.
It was also historical for baseball fans in Cleveland and Columbus, as it was the Indians organization’s first appearance in a Triple-A Championship since losing the 1998 Triple-A World series in Las Vegas three games to one to the Pacific Coast League Champion New Orleans Zephyrs (Houston Astros – of note, the MVP of the series was Lance Berkman) and the Clippers first championship shot since losing the final Triple-A Classic (which didn’t involve the PCL) 4-1 to the then-Denver Zephyrs, who were affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers at the time.
While The PCL champs (the Seattle Mariners-affiliated Tacoma Rainiers) did manage a pair of three-run frames, the game was non-stop Clippers domination. Three runs in the second and matching the inning numbers in the fourth and fifth led to a 12-6 victory and the state’s Capital claiming it’s place at the top of affiliated minor league baseball.
While the two biggest names in the Columbus lineup had huge nights at the plate (CF Ezequiel Carrera – 2-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI and DH Jason Kipnis – 3-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB), there were other notable numbers in the offensive box score, including a four-RBI night by LF Jerad Head.
The pitching was highlighted by the bullpen. Relievers Zach Putnam, Josh Judy, and Vinnie Pestano each hurled a scoreless frame.
In case you were wondering, the Triple-A crown was the Tribe system’s first since the 1956 Indianapolis Indians (whose roster that season included Roger Maris) won the Junior World Series and Columbus’ first since the Red Birds (Cardinals affiliate, obviously) won the JWS in 1950.
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