Palmetto Club of Charleston

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Nick Name Palmetto
Earliest Known Date 1866
Location Charleston, SC, United States

The diary of Samuel Lowry, 17th SC Infantry, notes that while stationed at Charleston in 1864 he and his buddies played "ball." See published diary, Jan. 26, 1864 entry. Charleston Mercury May 22, 1866 reported that a baseball club, formed by Messrs. Wardell and Denny, “the first of its kind ever known in our city,” gave an exhibition at the Citadel College green.

The Palmetto BBC issued a challenge to any club in GA, SC or NC. See Charleston Daily News, Dec. 15, 1866.

By 1868 numerous teams had been formed in Charleston. The New York Clipper, Aug. 29, 1868, says that Charleston has as senior teams the Alert, Carolina, Eclipse and ___ [illegible], junior clubs Young Alert, Franklin, Palmetto Jr. Conquest and __, plus 2 "colored" clubs.

Charleston SC had a population of about 49,000 in 1870.


Charleston Mercury May 22, 1866


My search of Charleston newspapers show numerous mentions of baseball being played in the North, and esp. NYC. See the Courier, July 19, 1858 (Fashion Race Course game), April 5, 19, 1859; Mercury, Aug. 27, 1860.  The Mercury, July 21, 1857 ran an advertisement for Porter's Spirit of the Times Purchasing Agency, based in NYC, which sold among many other items "cricket and bat balls." There were also numerous reports of cricket games played in the north, and of the local cricket clubs.

However, it appears there was no organized baseball. A correspondent only known as "R. L. B." (who also contributed to Porters) wrote to the Courier (see Oct. 2, 1860) lamenting the lack of organized sports in Charleston, and urging that youths play "manly sports" in the open areas of the city, particularly Citadel Square. He lamented "we have no properly organized cricket nor base ball clubs..."

It appears that prewar Charlestonians were familiar with baseball, and might have played it informally, but had no organized clubs.

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Found by Bruce Allardice
First in Location SC
Entry Origin Sabrpedia

Win/Loss Records As Far As We Now Know

Warning: Users should not rely on a team's won-loss record as a reflection of its "standing" among all base ball clubs. Team schedules were not balanced, and a good record against mostly weak opponents does not signify a leading club.

Year Games Wins Losses Ties
1866 1 Played 0 Won 0 Lost 0 Tied


Page Date City Borough State Team 1 Team 2 Score First in Contributor
Ballgame 1866-06-26 Charleston SC Palmetto Club of Charleston Palmetto Club of Charleston Charleston, SC Bruce Allardice

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