The pride of Charleston shows determined Southern grit in this obscure 1898 baseball team photo. This South Carolina city by the sea played host to the aptly named Seagulls, a Class B Southern League team which operated intermittently during the league’s brief 1885-1899 existence. The offered photo measures 8x10 and is mounted in cabinet card style to a slightly larger backer board which is irregularly trimmed. Other than moderate corner wear and a single crease radiating 3” in from halfway up on the right edge, this rare photograph presents handsomely with a clean, glossy surface and clearly discernable player images.
The roster listed for the 1898 Charleston Seagulls includes thirteen players with four who would go on to play in the Majors with Spike Shannon, Jim Jones, Rudy Kling and Farmer Steelman; and nine career minor leaguers with Joseph Bammert, George Goodhart, Roger Gray, Charles Helberger, ? Ballow, John Kimball, Charles Myers, Bob Pender and Orrin Williams. Twelve of these players are featured in this photo with manager Charles Boyer in a suit and derby hat at center. No information is available on the identity of the lone absent player. This well composed scene is made even more interesting by period equipment items located in the foreground, a fence in the background and some less than grand stands on the right. Judging from the determined expressions on the players faces, it would seem they were unaware that 1898 would be the final season for this Seagulls franchise. A credit tag is affixed below the photo, which reads “Charleston Base Ball Club-1898, Clarke’s Photo Gallery, Charleston, S.C.”.