A Home Run for the Spartanburgers 

New baseball team brings Spartanburg pride 


Photo courtesy S. Fly

Ella Hammond (11), Savannah Fly (12), Daniel Johnson (11) and Anna Jakubchak (12) sport matching tie-dye shirts while working for the Spartanburgers.

The new Spartanburgers baseball team has quickly become a home run, benefitting the Spartanburg community by increasing local entertainment and pride. The team is the newest addition to the Coastal Plain League, which includes 15 teams across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Although the team officially began last May, the Spartanburgers are the most recent addition to a long history of baseball in Spartanburg.  

According to ballparkdigest.com, Matt Perry, one of the Spartanburgers team owners, foresees a promising future for the team.  

“We’ve found that Spartanburg takes great pride in creating a unique identity for itself, from downtown development to new beautification efforts,” Perry said. “The Spartanburgers team name fits that mold, in providing a moniker that is unique to the city, the region and the nation. We expect the Spartanburgers to create tremendous exposure for Spartanburg for decades to come.” 

Citizens of Spartanburg had the opportunity to help name the Spartanburgers team, contributing to its local pride. A name-the-team contest received over 700 responses, with finalists including the Sluggers, Conductors, and of course, the Spartanburgers. The name was selected after evaluating potential logo options created by SPARK business strategies that displayed creative, food resembling images. The Spartanburgers added to the list of food-related team names within the Coastal Plain League, including the Savannah Bananas, Macon Bacon and the Tri-City Chili Peppers. 

Wes Brown, is both the coach for the Spartanburg High team and the Spartanburgers.  

“I believe the Spartanburgers impacts the community in a couple of different ways. It brings some type of almost professional sport back to Spartanburg,” Brown said. “I also believe it has a good economic impact on the community. There are a lot of people I see throughout the community wearing Spartanburgers apparel.” 

The history of Spartanburg baseball extends far beyond the new team, as Spartanburg’s historic Duncan Park ballpark is famously known as one of the first ballparks in America, and the first in South Carolina. One of Duncan Park’s most well-known teams was the Spartanburg Phillies, who played from 1963 to 1994. Historic stadium chairs with the Spartanburg Phillies logo can be found downtown outside of the Fr8 Yard beer garden, reflecting local pride of Spartanburg’s baseball history. 

In addition to being the home of the Spartanburg Phillies, Duncan Park was home to The Sluggers, a Negro Textile League Team that played from 1928 to 1952. Notable African American players who played at Duncan Park include Bob Branson, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron. The legacy of the Sluggers and the Negro League was honored by the Spartanburg High School baseball team in March. by wearing specially ordered Slugger’s uniforms in a game against Fox Creek. The jerseys represented the 100-year anniversary of the Negro League, an honor baseball coach Wes Brown wanted the venue of Duncan Park, as well as the next generation of baseball players, to be remembered.   

Savannah Fly (12) works at the Spartanburgers baseball games by helping work concessions and organize equipment. 

“I think the Spartanburgers baseball team has helped bring Spartanburg back together as a community after the past year of cancelled events and gatherings,” Fly said. “I also think it brings people to Spartanburg from the other teams which is really good exposure for Spartanburg. I think people enjoy going to the games because of the entertainment throughout the game as well as the spirit of the crowd and the food.”