Category: Columbus Jets

1962 Columbus Jets

Going through the 50’s MiLB team I can across the Columbus Jets, located in Columbus, OH from 1955-1970.

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After Columbus had lost their Triple-A team to Omaha, the local businessman, Frederick Jones purchased Ottawa’s Triple-A team, moved it to Columbus and dubbed them the Columbus Jets, playing in the rebranded Jets stadium. In their first two years, they were affiliated with the Kansas City Athletics, and after two losing seasons became affiliated with the Pirates.

1962 was the most fruitful season for the Jets, featuring future Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Pat Gillick. With the Jets Stargell hit 27 home runs and 82 hits. Gillick however, was a career minor leaguer and retired following the 1963 season. He would go on to have successful front office jobs despite never playing in the majors. The Jets also feature 19-year old Bob Bailey, who belted 28 homers and drove in 108 runners en route to being named Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year.

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Following the 1970 season, the director of Columbus Baseball Inc. sold the Jets back to the Pirates, citing a lack of interest in baseball from the community and the City of Columbus’s unwillingness to help fund improvements to the Jets slowly deteriorating stadium. Subsequently, the team was moved to Charleston, West Virginia and Columbus would be without a baseball team until 1977 with the arrival of the Columbus Clippers, who still play in Columbus to this day.