|Founded in 2007
Disbanded in 2012
|Owner(s)/Operated By: Summit Professional Baseball|
The London Rippers were a professional baseball team based in London, Ontario, in Canada. The Rippers were a member of the Frontier League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. They played their home games at Labatt Park, and were the second Frontier League team to play their home games in London, following the London Werewolves, which played from 1999 (when they won the Frontier League Championship) until folding in 2001.
The franchise was founded as the original Slippery Rock Sliders in 2007. The name "Slippery Rock Sliders" is now used by a summer collegiate baseball team of the Prospect League. The team was renamed Midwest Sliders in 2008 and played as a traveling team for that season. It was renamed again to Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti in 2009 and relocated to Ypsilanti, Michigan. The team was renamed again to Oakland County Cruisers in 2010. The franchise was resurrected in 2012 and became the "Rippers".
On July 24, 2012, it was announced that the Rippers would cease all operations as of midnight July 25, 2012.
The choice of the name and mascot proved controversial with some, as it was felt to represent Jack the Ripper. Megan Walker, director of a local London Abused Women's Center stated that "People are outraged. I think it's appalling. It's insulting and stupid and they better rethink their entire marketing strategy" Mayor Joe Fontana seemed uneasy about the team name but stated there is little the council can do to prevent the team from playing in Labatt Park, which is city owned. Walker has stated that she will plan protests when the team begins its spring season, and wants Martin to apologize to any one he offended.
The name choice was defended by Rush Limbaugh, Rick Chandler of NBC Sports,Ryan Mahan of the State Journal-Register and internet pseudo celebrity Adam Buckley, briefly the team's PA announcer in 2012 .
The London Rippers opened their season against the Southern Illinois Miners. After a 1-5 start on their first road trip, London played their first game at Labatt Memorial Park on May 25, 2012 against the Gateway Grizzlies, winning 4-3.
Eviction and Folding
On July 18, 2012, an eviction notice was posted on the door of the London Rippers' Team Store in Market Tower, which was later attributed to their failure to pay rent. This led to the Frontier League stepping in to work with owner Othman Kadry and widespread speculation that the team's future was in jeopardy. Six days later, on July 24, 2012, it was first announced that the team would play the remainder of their season on the road, but was announced later in the day that the team would be folding altogether.
The Frontier League later announced on July 25, 2012 that the franchise will be replaced by the Road Warriors traveling baseball team of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Teams scheduled to play in London will instead host the Road Warriors.
- "RIP London Rippers". July 24, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Canadian team draws heat for ‘Jack the Ripper’ nickname". November 16, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Maloney, Patrick (November 23, 2011). "The plot thickens on logo". The London Free Press. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- "Foul ball? London Rippers team name under fire". CTV. November 18, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Mullins, Angela (November 16, 2011). "London Rippers owner ‘will fail miserably’". Metro London. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Black, Debra (November 18, 2011). "London Rippers’ baseball team name and logo buzzing in U.S.". The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Mullins, Angela (July 19, 2012). "London Rippers' team store gets eviction notice". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Green, Steve (July 20, 2012). "Rippers' future in London looks bleak". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Green, Steve (July 24, 2012). "Flighty Rippers strike out". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Rippers strike out in London". July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012.