Capital City Bombers
The Capital City Bombers of Columbia, South Carolina, played twelve seasons in the South Atlantic League. For that entire span, they served as a Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
The Bombers identity was born following the 1992 season, when the COTOB Columbia Mets made the switch to a unique identity. For reasons unknown, they chose the Capital City place name. They paired it with a reference to the bombers who led the Doolittle Raid against the Japanese in WWII, and had trained at air bases in the Columbia area. Team colors were a conservative red, black, and army green combination. The military theme prevailed through the brand, with logo and Jersey script rendered in a stencil font. The team logo was an army green bomber plane with ferocious looking eyes and mouth on the fuselage, in the style of the painted planes from the mid-twentieth century. The plane was flying a mission through the stencil letter C, which stood for Columbia or maybe Capital City. They also had an alternate logo modeled after a star-shaped military emblem, with wing elements and a baseball in the center.
Around 1997, they tweaked their cap logo so that the plane was now flying through a contrail shaped like a C. The angle of the plane was also adjusted so that its trajectory was more lateral than the previous plane’s take-off angle. This new logo only lasted for about five years, though, and then they reverted to the old plane-through-stencil C.
Plenty of notable players took their lumps in Columbia, including Preston Wilson, Octavio Dotel, Heath Bell, José Reyes, Ángel Pagán, Scott Kazmir, and the great David Wright.
The team identity flew its last mission in the 2004 season, after which they were moved north to Greenville, South Carolina. The Atlanta Braves had moved their Double-A affiliate from Greenville to Mississippi, leaving Greenville Municipal Stadium vacant. While a new ballpark was being built, the Greenville Bombers existed as a one-year wonder and placeholder team, and kept all the same branding materials as the Capital City club. After that year, they became the Greenville Drive, a successful member of the Sally League to this day.