Indians extend affiliation with Pittsburgh Pirates through 2030


The Indianapolis Indians have agreed to a licensing deal to remain the Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate for Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates through 2030.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, continues a partnership that has been in place since 2005. The Indians are one of 120 teams to remain part of the modified minor league system that began undergoing massive cuts last year amid the pandemic.

The team will compete in the 20-team Triple-A East division after more than 20 years in the International League. The new league includes the Iowa Cubs, Louisville Bats, Toledo Mud Hens and Columbus Clippers.

 “We look forward to entering a new era of Minor League Baseball and to working directly with Major League Baseball,” Randy Lewandowski, the Indians’ president and general manager, said in written remarks. “We are also excited to continue our partnership and Triple-A affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

The Indians have had several affiliations over the years, joining the Pirates organization after five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. The franchise has also been a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. It was also an affiliate of the Pirates from 1948-1951.

The Indians, founded in 1901, played 119 consecutive seasons before calling off the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

7 thoughts on “Indians extend affiliation with Pittsburgh Pirates through 2030

  1. How sad we are still a “minor league” team in baseball. And worse yet, we are in a partnership with a city that is SMALLER than we are. If anything it exemplifies the lack of confidence Indianapolis has as a city. We don’t have nearly as many corporate headquarters of major companies as the smaller cities that do. Cities like Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburg and Kanas City that have had major league baseball teams for over a hundred years have that “confidence” that we seem to lack. When you drive into Indianapolis, you only have four major buildings (Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life and if you count museums The State Museum and Eiteljorg) that aren’t simply “knock offs” of buildings seen in places like New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. Even are newest buildings are not original in design. Indeed we even lack the confidence to use local architects and engineers too often. A baseball team is just a baseball team and its fun to go watch the Indians and its safe and small but Indianapolis should think a little bigger. Victory Field is actually designed to expand to a larger capacity if fans are ever allowed to come back to events, so its not a huge undertaking. Sure Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago (two teams) and St. Louis will not be in favor of it but in reality most people from central Indiana don’t travel to watch games in those cities on a regular basis. When the Indians were a minor team for Cincinnati, a lot more people did but that relationship is long over. We aren’t Dayton Ohio; we are just a bit larger, and probably need to act like it.

    1. So you’re saying Indy needs confidence, which means Indy taxpayers need to subsidize another major league team’s stadium, in order to meet your definition of “major league”? No thanks.

    2. It’s more than just the size of the core city. The cities you cite all have larger metropolitan areas and market draw. Additionally, they were major cities when Indianapolis was little more than a big town. Maybe major league when Indy’s MSA reaches 2-3 million.

    3. The Indianapolis Indians are one of the best franchises in Minor League baseball. I wouldn’t trade them for a MLB team in a million years.

  2. Indy’s MSA is already 2-3 million. And fairly large media market. And Victory Field was specifically designed to NOT be able to be expanded to major league size. We don’t need MLB. Would rather have MLS.

  3. Getting a MLB team to Indy Is a lot more complicated than just throwing out it’s a great idea, and Indy is not good enough. It is also very political inside baseball i.e. owners have to agree on expansions and relocations. A number of local extremely influential and good people ( Frank McKinney JR. Art Angotti and others) who also had the inside track with MLB tried with all their heart and a lot of money but got rebuffed or more likely got back doored. I only know the gossip not the facts.
    We have a great team, with a great venue and an even better league with this movement. ENJOY

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.