Columbia Fireflies
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassSingle-A (2022–present)
Previous classes
LeagueCarolina League (2022–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamKansas City Royals (2021–present)
Previous teamsNew York Mets (2016–2020)
Team data
  • Columbia Fireflies (2016–present)
  • Savannah Sand Gnats (1996–2015)
  • Savannah Cardinals (1984–1995)
ColorsNavy blue, neon yellow, neon green, silver, white
MascotMason The Firefly
BallparkSegra Park (2016–present)
Hardball Capital LLC
PresidentBrad Shank[1]
ManagerTony Pena Jr.

The Columbia Fireflies are a Minor League Baseball team based in Columbia, South Carolina, and are the Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. Their home stadium is Segra Park. The team was previously known as the Savannah Sand Gnats (1995–2015); they relocated from Savannah, Georgia, after the 2015 season. They are the only professional baseball team in Columbia, and the first since the Capital City Bombers moved to Greenville, South Carolina, after the 2004 season.


Minor league baseball in Columbia dates back to 1892, when a team known as the Columbia Senators competed in the only season of the original South Atlantic League. In 1904, the Columbia Skyscrapers franchise was founded as a charter member of the second incarnation of the South Atlantic League. The capital city fielded teams in the league in 45 of the next 57 seasons under various nicknames (Gamecocks, Commies, Comers, Sandlappers, Senators, Reds, and Gems). Following the 1961 season, the Columbia Reds moved to Macon, Georgia and the city would be without professional baseball for the next two decades. Columbia clubs won the South Atlantic League championship in 1915, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1941, and 1953. The league itself collapsed following the 1963 season.[2]

After a 21-year absence from professional baseball, Columbia returned to affiliated ball when the Shelby (NC) Mets relocated to the capital city in the latest version of the South Atlantic League in 1983. Known as the Columbia Mets from 1983-92, and the Capital City Bombers beginning in 1993, the franchise competed in the SAL for 22 years, winning league titles in 1986, 1991 and 1998.

The Capital City Bombers moved to Greenville, South Carolina, after the 2004 season. The city of Columbia approved plans to build a stadium in 2014, with the goal of attracting a Minor League Baseball team. Spirit Communications, a local telecommunications company, purchased the naming rights for the stadium.[3] In May 2015, the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Class A South Atlantic League, an affiliate of the New York Mets, announced that it would move to Columbia in time for the 2016 season.[4][5]

After receiving over 2,300 submissions in a public contest to name the team, it chose to call itself the "Columbia Fireflies". The name was inspired by the Photinus frontalis in the nearby Congaree National Park which was outlined in an article entitled “Synchronized fireflies putting on show at Congaree National Park” by The State, a local newspaper.[6] Portions of the team's uniforms glow in the dark as a tribute to the team's name.

Columbia earned its first ever victory as the Fireflies on April 9, 2016. In the game, three pitchers (Thomas McIlraith, Alex Palsha, and Johnny Magliozzi) combined to throw a no-hitter in a 9–0 shutout victory over the Charleston RiverDogs. The no-hitter was the Fireflies' third game. In their first ever home game, on April 14, 2016, the Fireflies defeated the Greenville Drive, 4–1, in front of 9,077 people.[7]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's reconfiguration of the minors in 2021, the Mets discontinued their affiliation with Columbia.[8] On December 9, 2020, Major League Baseball announced that the Fireflies' new parent club would be the Kansas City Royals beginning with the 2021 season.[9] They were organized into the Low-A East as the Royals' Low-A classification affiliate.[10] In 2022, the Low-A East became known as the Carolina League, the name historically used by the regional circuit prior to the 2021 reorganization.[11]


Players Coaches/Other


  • 17 Felix Arronde
  • 11 Ethan Bosacker
  • 16 Connor Fenlong
  • 36 Josh Hansell
  • 51 Ben Hernandez
  • 43 Eduardo Herrera
  • 24 Chase Isbell
  • 33 Doug Kirkland
  • 22 Logan Martin
  • 31 Hunter Patteson
  • 28 Luis Polanco
  • 26 Yimi Presinal
  • 21 Nicholas Regalado
  • 40 Emmanuel Reyes
  • 32 Jarold Rosado
  • 18 Mauricio Veliz
  • 45 Blake Wolters



  •  6 Chris Brito
  •  8 Austin Charles
  •  1 Brennon McNair
  •  4 Jhonny Perdomo
  • 19 Lizandro Rodriguez
  •  2 Daniel Vazquez


  •  0 Derlin Figueroa
  • 15 Erick Peña
  • 12 Milo Rushford
  • 41 Erick Torres


  • 13 Jesus Azuaje


  • 35 Ari Adut (hitting)
  • 44 Sam Freeman (assistant pitching)
  • 37 John Habyan (pitching)
  • 29 Kyle MacKinnon (assistant hitting)

60-day injured list

  • 21 Mack Anglin
  • -- Jonatan Bernal
  • -- Brady McConnell
  • -- Mason Miller
  • 25 Jacob Widener

7-day injured list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated May 15, 2024
→ More rosters: MiLB • Carolina League
Kansas City Royals minor league players

Retired Numbers

14: Larry Doby 20: Frank Robinson 42: Jackie Robinson[12][13]


  1. ^ "Front Office Staff". Columbia Firefies. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Callahan, Carolyn (December 3, 2014). "Bull Street Ball Park to Be Named 'Spirit Communications Park'". WIS. Columbia, South Carolina. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  4. ^ White, Neil (May 21, 2015). "It's Official: Savannah Baseball Team Moving to Columbia". The State. Columbia, SC. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Dial, Steven; Santaella, Tony (March 25, 2015). "Savannah Baseball Team Moving to Columbia". WLTX. Columbia, SC. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Ransdell, Aaron (August 4, 2015). "Columbia Fireflies Named as New Baseball Name". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Fitzgerald, Kevin (April 15, 2016). "9,077 See Fireflies Win Spirit Communications Park Opener". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Cooper, J.J. (November 10, 2020). "Binghamton, Brooklyn Survive As Mets Announce Affiliates". Baseball America. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Columbia Fireflies invited to become Kansas City Royals affiliate". ABC Columbia. 2020-12-09. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  10. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  12. ^ "Fireflies to retire Doby's number 14 on Saturday".
  13. ^ "Columbia Fireflies honor three iconic African-American baseball players". 2 July 2019.