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Looking back at Cap City Stadium

Columbia BlowfishWith the city expected to tear down Capital City Stadium, home of the Columbia Blowfish (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League), after this season, locals share their memories of the historic facility.

In many ways the history of Capital City Stadium is the history of professional and summer-collegiate baseball in this country. Built by Hall of Famer Barney Dreyfuss in 1945 as a home for one of his Pittsburgh Pirates farm teams, Capital City Stadium 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.

This month the Columbia City Council is expected to vote on a plan for a Wal-Mart to be built on the ballpark site. The State asked readers to send in their memories of the ballpark, and here’s a typical response:

The Rev. Sam McGregor Jr. has three generations of memories at Capital City Stadium. He lives in York but was raised in Lower Richland where his now 82-year-old father was a well-known dairy farmer and school board member.

Last summer, the Presbyterian minister, 45, took his youngest son and his dad to watch a college league game at the park where he spent time with his father in the 1970s.

“It dawned on me that I remember sitting in those seats with my dad,” McGregor said. “How neat that moment was — bridging three generations in the same space. It’s something that will always have special meaning to me.”

RELATED STORIES: 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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