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Indians' connection to Clippers runs deep

Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor celebrates after his two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Championship Series in Cleveland, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Some of the players you see in the World Series sharpened their skills at Huntington Park.

There's a Columbus-Cleveland connection much deeper than 2016 Clipper Ryan Merritt's start in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

From Corey Kluber on the mound, to Francisco Lindor scoring runs, these guys wouldn't be in The Show if it weren't for their reps at the corner of Nationwide and Neil.

"This season, in the pennant winning season they had 38 former Clippers play for the Indians this year," said Clippers historian Joe Santry.

While the Clippers have been the farm team for the Indians since 2009, Santry says the love affair between Cleveland and Columbus dates back to the 1800s.

The Clippers were once known as the Columbus Senators. And in 1899 the franchise moved north.

"So, in all actuality, the Cleveland Indians can trace their roots back to Columbus, Ohio." Santry said.

Santry has plenty of stories about the former Clippers players who you now see in the World Series.

"When Kluber first came here he was a raw kid, really raw and we're thinking, Is he going to make it," said Santry, "But our coaches helped him and he could be the best pitcher now in the American League."

Santry says you can really tell the great players even when they're in the minors.

"Such as Carlos Santana, I remember him hitting seven balls over the scoreboard into the neighborhood in the next block," Santry said.


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