This week’s Fresh Fitted is special for a number of reasons but it also has the distinction of being the first cap I’ve featured of a team has yet to play a single game! A buddy of mine — who also happens to be an avid reader of the site — recently visited his old hometown of Columbia, SC and was kind enough to pick up a special gift for me: the official onfield cap that the Columbia Fireflies will wear during the majority of home games in their upcoming inaugural season.
|It's a refreshing change to find unique logo that does not feature any stale font lettering nor a cartoonish animal|
It’s no secret that I’ve got a special place in my heart for teams of the South Atlantic League, which is also affectionately known as the Sally League. As an aside, it’s also no secret that I enjoy using the phrase “it’s no secret” in these write-ups and to prove this point, simply open a new browser tab and query “it’s no secret baseball milquetoast” in your favorite search engine. You should come up with six results where the phrase "it’s no secret" appears in one of my posts, including this one!
At any rate, a few of the Sally League teams I’ve previously written about include the Hickory Crawdads (awful photos, sorry), Augusta GreenJackets (awful photos again, sorry), Charleston RiverDogs and the Capital City Bombers, who played in Columbia. From 1983 to 1992, they were known as the Columbia Mets and they changed their name to the Capital City Bombers in 1993 and kept this name until 2004, which was their final season in Columbia.
|The volt "New Era" logo here pops so nicely|
Correction: While there is still no such place as Greenville, TN there is one called Greeneville and I feel kind of foolish for it not coming to mind when i made that statement earlier. They even have a Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League called the Greeneville Astros and as a matter of fact, Jose Altuve played a season there!
|And just like that, the volt MILB batterman patch seals the deal|
Back to the tale at hand, the big news in all of this is that after an 11-year absence, the largest city and capital of South Carolina finally has a minor league baseball team again. You might be thinking, that’s all well and good but from where did this team appear? Ok, so I don’t want to drag this history and geography lesson out too much but just so you know, the Fireflies’ former city and team name was the Savannah Sand Gnats. They were a Sally League team that originated as the Savannah Cardinals in 1984 but rebranded as the Sand Gnats when their affiliation shifted to the L.A. Dodgers in 1996.
While I appreciate that the Sand Gnats metamorphosed into the Fireflies, it is sad that with all of these moves there is invariably a city that is left without a team. To me, it’s unthinkable that Columbia went without a minor league team as long as it did and I hope that Savannah’s drought is not as lengthy. Thankfully there is some consolation because beginning this summer, Savannah will be the newest member of the Coastal Plain League which is a collegiate summer league and their team will be known as the Savannah Bananas. Yes, you are reading that correctly.
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