Columbia Fireflies
Col Fireflies.png
Fireflies cap.png
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
Name
  • 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)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Hardball Capital LLC
PresidentBrad Shank[1]
ManagerBrooks Conrad

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.

History

Minor league baseball in Columbia dates back to 1982. The Capital City Bombers moved from Columbia, South Carolina, 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.[2] 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.[3][4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's reconfiguration of the minors in 2021, the Mets discontinued their affiliation with Columbia.[7] 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.[8] They were organized into the Low-A East as the Royals' Low-A classification affiliate.[9] 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.[10]

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 33 Jack Aldrich
  • 28 Wander Arias
  • 25 Luinder Avila
  • 32 Luis Barroso
  • 35 Daury Cabrera
  • 27 Delvin Capellan
  • 38 Eric Cerantola
  • 45 Shane Connolly
  • 36 Heribert Garcia
  • 16 Ben Hernandez ~
  • -- Eduardo Herrera
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 29 Ben Kudrna
  • -- Brandon Marklund
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 22 John McMillon
  • 51 Frank Mozzicato
  • -- Cruz Noriega
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 18 Matt Stil
  • 34 Samuel Valerio
  • 26 Ben Wereski
  • 19 Marlin Willis

Catchers

  • 24 Kyle Hayes
  • 12 Omar Hernandez
  • 11 Carter Jensen
  •  6 Guillermo Quintana

Infielders

  •  4 Omar Florentino
  • -- Gage Hughes
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 13 Rubendy Jaquez
  •  0 Edgar Martinez
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Brady McConnell
    Injury icon 2.svg
  •  1 Joshua Rivera
  •  8 Enrique Valdez
  •  2 Daniel Vazquez

Outfielders

  •  9 Gary Camarillo
  • 23 Darryl Collins
  • 26 Isaiah Henry
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 21 Erick Peña
  • 15 River Town


Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg
7-day injured list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated May 22, 2022
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Carolina League
Kansas City Royals minor league players

References

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