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Baseball has been a staple in Columbia dating back to the late 1800s and 2016 marked the return of America's pastime to the Midlands for the first time in nearly 12 years. Fans in the Palmetto State's capital have been without a professional baseball franchise since the Capital City Bombers moved to Greenville, South Carolina, following the 2004 season. Here are some historical highlights:

  • Columbia's first known baseball game took place in 1867.
  • The South Atlantic League's Columbia roots reach as far back as 1892 when the Columbia Senators became the city's first professional team.
  • The Columbia Skyscrapers were the first sustained team in the city, later changing its name to the Gamecocks, Commies and Comers - the latter two after Columbia's commissioner-based government at the time.  
  • In 1927 - after a fire destroyed a portion of the Comers ballpark on the state fairgrounds - Pittsburgh Pirates owner, Barney Dreyfuss (a Hall of Famer, credited with creating the modern World Series) donated the funds to build what would soon be known as historic Capital City Stadium. A road outside the park is named in Dreyfuss' honor.
  • The Cincinnati Reds were one of the first major league teams to form an official affiliation in Columbia. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was a star for the Columbia Reds in 1954 and '55. Robinson then broke into the National League as a 20-year-old rookie the following year and went on to garner 12 All-Star selections.  
  • Professional baseball was absent from 1962 to 1982 until the Shelby (NC) Mets moved to Columbia. The team changed its name to the Capital City Bombers in 1993 honoring the heroic Doolittle Raiders - fighter pilots during World War II who trained for combat in Columbia.
  • The franchise won three South Atlantic League championships during its 21 years in Columbia before moving to Greenville, South Carolina, following the 2004 season. Mets stars like Todd Hundley, Jose Reyes and David Wright all passed through the Palmetto State.
  • Columbia Baseball HistoryTen years later, in October of 2014, Minor League Baseball granted approval to move a team back to Columbia. The following May, the Savannah Sand Gnats announced their franchise would relocate into the brand new Segra Park for the 2016 season, bringing professional baseball back to the Palmetto State's capital.
  • The first Columbia Fireflies game at Segra Park took place on April 14, 2016. At the time, a record 9,077 fans were on hand to watch the Fireflies defeat the Greenville Drive, 4-1.
  • Ex-Reds, Pirates and Red Sox Infielder Pokey Reese is from Columbia. He won a World Series with Boston in 2004.