It's a bittersweet run in the Coastal Plain League playoffs for the Columbia Blowfish: as the team advances in the Petitt Cup playoffs, Capital City Stadium in one step closer to demolition.
The historic ballpark, built by Hall of Famer Barney Dreyfuss in 1945 as a home for one of his Pittsburgh Pirates farm teams, served as the home to various lower-level pro teams through 2004, when the Sally League's Capital City Bombers moved to Greenville. After pro ball left the city, summer-collegiate ball -- a prime economic factor in keeping many, many old ballparks alive -- moved in and thrived.
But this year is the end of the road for the ballpark, as Columbia city officials have moved forward on selling the ballpark to a developer, who is expected to build a Wal-Mart on the site. It's not a popular decision among baseball fans (who don't want to lose the ballpark) and non-baseball fans (who decry the increased traffic expected from a big-box retailer), but the deal is done: last Wednesday the city signed a sale contract.
It's not quite the end of the line: the Blowfish are still in the playoffs, advancing to the second round against a yet-to-be determined opponent. So you still have a chance to see a historic ballpark in action -- but you'd best hurry.
Image: Columbia Blowfish players and soldiers from Fort Jackson stand at attention during presentation of National Anthem in 2011. Courtesy Fort Jackson Leader.
RELATED STORIES: Shanahan: Blowfish negotiating move to Lexington County; Columbia sells Capital City Stadium site; Looking back at Cap City Stadium; Class A ball returning to Columbia?; Columbia sells Capital City Stadium; Wal-Mart on the way; Future of Columbia baseball in play
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