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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Columbia Fireflies

The Fireflies were the Savanah Sand Gnats prior to this year. When Savanah didn't give in to the "build us a new stadium or we'll move" blackmail, the owner moved them.They got a shiny, nice new stadium in Columbia South Carolina (where the insane asylum used to be with a weird mudpit in front of it).  Savanah got to keep its integrity. I got to make a trip to Columbia to watch the Fireflies' first rain shortened game.

The Fireflies were playing the Kannapolis Intimidators, which certainly made for a colorful on field presence. Kannapolis wore a bright red uniform while Columbia wore an almost neon yellow. I admit it, I bought a Columbia jersey. I bought it for two reasons. First, in an era of gawdawfulstupid team names choosing a decent mascot should be rewarded. Second, if I ever have to walk down a dark road at night I won't need an emergency vest. I'll just throw on the Fireflies jersey.

The stadium had a nice edifice on the outside and inside it was a basic single level stadium that was shiny and new, but didn't have much that distinguished it from any other stadium. Of course, it had an upper level with the ubiquitous luxury boxes which every team demands be built into their stadium anymore. There was a fairly decent size crowd, although the stadium was not anywhere near being in danger of a sellout. The crowd seemed pleasant enough, but they seemed kind of reserved and I think maybe they were still getting used to the concept of having a minor league team in their midst.

As for the game itself, it was certainly the most colorful game I think I've seen. And, it was actually a good game to watch. The Fireflies small balled a run across in the first. With the help of a passed ball the Intimidators got a man in scoring position in the
third and got him across the plate.  The Fireflies answered with two doubles in the bottom of the same inning to go back ahead by one. In the fourth inning, Kannapolis got a man on second via a stolen base and then got him home on a single to left, tying the game. In the sixth Kannapolis came out swinging and got three on a homer
before the Fireflies even got a single man out. In the bottom of the same inning, the Fireflies got a run with a single, error, and sacrifice. In the seventh the Fireflies shaved another run off on the strength of a double and two errors by the Intimidators.

So, with one of the most interesting games I've watched this year still in question, what happens?

Yep, sheets of rain. The video doesn't do it justice and misses the lightning as well. They waited a while, obviously hoping to get the game started again, but when the water started forming small lakes on the field they gave up and called it.

All-in-all, a decent stadium, a laudable choice in team name and logo, and an enjoyable experience. Go watch the Fireflies glow (in broad daylight) if you are in the Columbia area.

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