COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Just weeks after the New York Mets severed ties with the Columbia Fireflies as a minor league baseball affiliate, the Fireflies have a new suitor lined up.
On Wednesday, the Fireflies organization announced it has received an invitation to become an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
“There has been a lot of anticipation regarding the restructuring of Minor League Baseball,” said Fireflies President John Katz. “We’re excited that the Fireflies have been invited to join. We look forward to the details being worked out and giving fans in Columbia an opportunity to enjoy top-quality professional baseball for years to come.”
The Fireflies were one of 120 teams selected to have an affiliation with a team from Major League Baseball. The term of the offered affiliation between the Fireflies and the Royals is 10 years.
“The Royals have one of the top farm systems in all of baseball,” said Katz. “Their coaches and players that have come to Segra Park as visitors have been first class, and we’re looking forward to getting them into the home dugout.”
Last season, Major League Baseball opted not to provide minor league teams with players, which forced the 2020 season to be canceled. However, the Fireflies are looking forward to playing baseball in 2021.
“Once the Minor League Baseball teams and leagues are finalized and formalized, the Fireflies will receive their 2021 schedule. We look forward to the resumption of baseball at Segra Park,” said Katz. “We can’t wait until we have our 2021 schedule so fans can start planning to be out at the ballpark.”
The Fireflies organization will continue to monitor COVID-19-related protocols in South Carolina and in Richland County as the 2021 season draws closer.
“We’ll approach the 2021 season with extreme care and consideration,” Katz said. “Every event at Segra Park will put the health and safety of our fans, guests, staff, and players first. We’re hopeful that between now and Opening Day we’ll see tremendous strides taken towards returning to some level of normalcy. Whatever the situation when it’s time to ‘play ball,’ we’ll be ready as a staff and as a facility.”