Before that, the Clippers had a 28-year relationship with the New York Yankees from 1979-2006.
In 2009, the Clippers will move into brand new Huntington Park, which is located in the trendy downtown Arena District following the closing of Cooper Stadium on September 1.
“Partnering with the Columbus Clippers organization is a tremendous opportunity for the Indians organization to affiliate with a first-class organization in the vibrant capital city located in the heart of our fan base,” said Indians President Paul Dolan. “It’s an exciting time for both organizations, as well as for the baseball fans of Ohio."
The Indians' top farm team had been the Buffalo Bisons since 1995.
“We would like to thank Bob and Mindy Rich, the entire Buffalo Bisons organization and the Bisons fans for their support the past 14 years.
Our affiliation coincided with the organization’s renewed commitment to the foundation of the franchise - its Player Development System - and the Bisons organization played a major role in our success during that time. Today’s announcement is a result of a unique opportunity presented the Indians organization.
"We wish the Rich family and the Bisons organization much success in the future.”
The Clippers are excited to be part of the Indians' farm system.
“The Columbus community is excited and ecstatic that we have this opportunity to align with the Cleveland Indians,” said Clippers President and General Manager Ken Schnacke. “The enthusiasm in and around the Central Ohio area is a testament to the popularity of this new partnership.
"The Columbus Clippers organization along with the Franklin County Commissioners and our board of directors are equally as excited as our fan base."
Dolan and Indians Vice President, Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti will be at Huntington Park for a press conference to formerly introduce this new 4-year partnership on Friday.
The Indians now have four farm clubs in Ohio:
Triple-A Columbus Clippers
Double-A Akron Aeros
Class A Lake County Captains
Short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers
All are within a 2 1-2 drive of Progressive Field.
Here is the history of the Indians' Triple-A farm team affiliation for the past 30 years:
2009-2012 Columbus (Ohio) Clippers
1995-2008 Buffalo (N.Y.) Bisons
1993-1994 Charlotte (N.C.) Knights
1988-1992 Colorado Springs (Colo.) Sky Sox
1987 Buffalo Bisons
1984-1986 Maine (Portland) Guides
1981-1983 Charleston (W.Va.) Charlies
1979-1980 Tacoma (Wash.) Tugs
1978 Portland (Ore.) Beavers