When the New York Mets’ South Atlantic League Single-A affiliate moves from Savannah, Georgia, to Columbia, South Carolina, next season, they will drop one bug—the tiny, horrible, razor-fanged Sand Gnat—in favor of one that evokes images of pleasant summer evenings, the firefly.
The Columbia Fireflies’ logo, unveiled this morning, was designed by Sky Design of Atlanta (also responsible for the Fort Wayne TinCaps). It features a stylized lightning bug (as they are known to me) as the primary logo, with alternates including a mason jar (for trapping the bugs), a pair of flames meant to resemble the letters CF, and wordmarks encompassed in streaking bug light.
Columbia Fireflies hat pic.twitter.com/hAxeiee1Ao
— Heath Cline (@heathradio) August 4, 2015
According to the team, the nickname derives from a rare natural phenomenon that occurs nearby:
The inspiration for the “Fireflies” name comes from a particular species of Firefly-the Phot-and the unique behavior of that firefly in the nearby floodplain forest in Congaree National Park. Each spring, as baseball season begins, the Photuris frontalis perform a wonderful and mysterious light show. For a few weeks, thousands of these fireflies synchronize their flashing each night; they light as one, in unison. The Photuris frontalis is the only species of firefly in North America known to put on this sort of display, and the mass synchronization that occurs on the banks of the Congaree is one of only six places on Earth where such a spectacle is known to take place.
The Fireflies announced the new look with this fancy video:
As is to be expected with all updated sports logos, the reaction online so far has been mixed, with the most common complaint from locals being that the team did not reprise the identity of Columbia’s previous team, the Capital City Bombers.
I’ll cast my vote in favor of the new look—it’s unique and appropriate to the area without resorting to overt wackiness to get attention.