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Minor League Baseball histories


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First of all note: not 100% sure this topic belongs here but not sure where else it should go.    Mods - if this needs to move, please move it.


Looks to me like we might be faced with connecting the dots, so to speak when it comes to Minor League baseball histories.  Especially now that 2021 has shuffled the deck, a lot of older history might become unconnected if not preserved.  So, opening this topic in the hopes we can connect the dots and help out Chris and contribute to the site in some meaningful way.


So, up first, it looks like the Columbia Fireflies (2021+ and 2016-2020) used to be the Savannah Sand Gnats (1996-2015).  What I didn't know (until recently) was that the Sand Gnats used to be the Savannah Cardinals (1984-1995).  Based on the information I saw, here was the chain of custody, so to speak:

  1. Savannah Cardinals (1984-1995) -- St. Louis Cardinals affiliate
  2. Savannah Sand Gnats (1996-1997) -- Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate
  3. Savannah Sand Gnats (1998-2002) -- Texas Rangers affiliate
  4. Savannah Sand Gnats (2003-2004) -- Montreal Expos affiliate
  5. Savannah Sand Gnats (2005-2006) -- Washington Nationals affiliate
  6. Savannah Sand Gnats (2007-2015) -- New York Mets affiliate --> moved to Columbia
  7. Columbia Fireflies (2016-2020) -- New York Mets affiliate
  8. Columbia Fireflies (2021+) -- Kansas City Royals affiliate


Can anyone on the Savannah area (or anywhere else for that matter) confirm the above information I came across is accurate?  I live in Atlanta, and don't really have the means to verify this.  Baseball Reference (.com) seems to have the connection between the Savannah Cardinals and Savannah Sand Gnats, but not necessarily the Fireflies.  

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Honestly after what happened this past off season, I think MiLB histories have been irrevocably severed. The leagues that used to make up MiLB are functionally dead. And between the team shutdowns, rearrangements of teams, and reshuffling of levels among the leagues pretty much all continuity has been lost. Any attempt to link teams is meaningless at this point since everyone is going to have an opinion on how it should be done.


For example at the AAA level, most of the teams endured so at the very least you can link the PCL and IL teams to their new AAA East and West analogues among the teams that survived. You can likely try the same for AA. As for the levels below that? Good luck. There is no continuity between the current High A West teams and the old Short Season A Northwest League given they've jumped up 2 levels. Same for the Low A West and the former California League (plus poor hapless Fresno who suffered a worse indignity than contraction). Same for the former NY Penn teams that now find themselves up 2 levels in High A East and the former Low A teams in the High A Central.  They're all now effectively new teams that happen to share names with former teams in the old leagues. 


Honestly there was MiLB from the origins until 2020 and then there is MiLB from 2021 on. I know some teams are trying to act like there's some continuity between their current selves and the old teams, but reality is there isn't. I mean I frequent the Lake Elsinore Storm, and the quality of play, or lack there of, between their long time High A position and their current Low A position is staggering to the point of making any comparison of history or stats between the two meaningless. The current team can't even complete a simple throw to second base on a pick off.  I can't imagine the different teams that moved up from Short A to High A or again what the poor folks in Fresno who went from AAA to Low A are seeing. 

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