Back to Star Wars Night, here’s a cool Chewbacca Jersey that the Columbia Fireflies wore last night for their Star Wars Night.
The Fireflies are my hometown team (sort of, I graduated from high school in Columbia), and this is a cool Chewy Jersey. It’s also something a little different from Star Wars Jerseys. Usually, MiLB teams sport a Rebel Alliance or StormTrooper Jersey, so that is something else which is cool.
As is the case with every themed night; after the game the FireFlies auctioned off the jerseys after the game for a good cause. In addition to the neat little jerseys that MiLB teams do for themed nights, it’s refreshing to seem them auction off the game worn jerseys for a good cause. Everyone always wins when this happens.
The Fireflies are the Single-A Affiliate for the New York Mets; this is their first year in Soda City after relocating from Savannah, Georgia. I talked about their history when they unveiled their mascot and logo over the winter; you can read about it here. Today’s featured prospects are Milton Ramos and Dash Winningham,
Milton Ramos, SS
Ramos is a top 15 prospect for the Mets and was considered to be one of the best defensive shortstops in the 2014 draft when the Mets drafted him. Ramos has good speed, and power off the bat, better than other shortstops in Low-A. But he has performed better than expected defensively, keeping him in Low-A and Rookie League Ball.
Dash Winningham, 1B
Winningham is a Prince Fielder type first baseman. He can muscle balls over the fence regularly, but that’s about it. He lacks good bat speed and good glove defense (which is why he is a first baseman and always will be). Winningham was another 2014 draft pick by the Mets He’s 6’2″ and weighs 230 pounds. He doesn’t have the fast twitch, but that shouldn’t stop him from putting up impressive power numbers.
Soda City’s minor league team the Columbia Fireflies unveiled their jerseys last month. The fireflies are paying homage to the team’s name, which was chosen via a “Name the Team” contest that featured 2,300+ submissions and then voted on, ultimately coming to the fireflies.
A Class Single A-Affiliate of the New York Mets, the Fireflies are the relocating Savanna Sand Gnats, playing their games at Spirit Communications Park. While they are the first minor league team since the Capital City Bombers left in ’04, they are the professional baseball team currently in Columbia (the other being the Lexington County Blowfish).
The Fireflies organizational history begins in 1984 when they were known as the Savannah Cardinals and affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, their jersey was akin to that of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 80s, as you can see below.
The Savannah Cardinals cap insignia looks pretty similar (at least in this photo) to the current Springfield Cardinals hat insignia
In 1996, the Savannah Cardinals became the Savannah Sand Gnats, when they became affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers and their logo remained unchanged (as you can see below)
While they had 4 different variations of a cap insignia:
From 1998-2002, they were affiliated with the Rangers, and the Montreal Expos/Washingto Nationals from 2003-2006, winning 4 South Atlantic Titles (’93, ’94, ’96’ and ’13) and 2 Division Titles (’93 and ’13) while playing all of their games at historic Grayson Stadium.
You can see what their jersey and cap looked liked in this photo while it’s in black and white their colors were Red, White and Royal Blue.
The Sand Gants weren’t the first minor league team to play in Savannah, or even at Grayson stadium. They were preceded by the Savannah Braves who played in Grayson Stadium from 1971-1983 affiliated with the Atlanta Braves. They captured their only league title in ’78.
Before that was the original Savannah Minor league team-The Savannah Pathfinders (while their most predominant nickname was the Indians, which was used from 1906-1912; 1926-1928; 1936-1942; 1946-1954 and 1970). The Indians, played for the most part, in what is now the Double-A Southern League.
By far the most notable alumni of the Indians is Chicago Black Sox OF Shoeless Joe Jackson and you can see him below.
The Columbia Fireflies surprisingly are rooted deeply (although indirectly) in MiLB history and their new jerseys and logos are just the latest chapter in the history books.
Wednesday, the Columbia FireFlies unveiled their uniforms for their upcoming inaugural season in Columbia, SC. The fireflies are the Mets’ Class-A Affiliate, replacing the Savannah Sand Gnats (who have relocated to Columbia, if you didn’t know).
As soon as they were unveiled everyone across the internet was quick to bask in their awe, as parts of the jersey glow in the dark.
That is by far the coolest part about the Fireflies uniforms, they’ve taken a quite literal and cool approach to their mascot. How else could you take a firefly and make it cooler? I can’t think of one. To be honest, before this I hadn’t thought of a firefly as being cool. But that’s just my own opinion.
By far one of the coolest things about baseball in this various alternate uniforms (and new ones, in this case) that Teams employ to be unique and bring another cool element to the game.
What a time to be alive.