Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Yankees Are Coming!

Library of Congress, Union Prisoners Playing Ball at Salisbury, NC, ca 1863

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York team with the same name, are coming to town Friday, June 24th. However, it won’t be the first time that Yankees have played baseball in North Carolina. In fact, they played here at least as early as 1863, although the conditions probably weren’t quite as pleasant as the visitor’s locker room at the DBAP.

As recounted in a terrific article in the New York Times a few months back, in the 1860s neither cricket nor baseball (Massachusetts rules and/or New York rules) was popular in the south. Nevertheless, there were reports of games being played in Baltimore, Richmond, Washington, Savannah, and New Orleans.

As we see in this image dated 1863, we know for sure that in a prison camp in Salisbury, North Carolina, there were Yankees playing baseball.

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