Charlotte’s appeal to teams: ‘absence of temptation’

Despite its less-than-tropical Aprils, turn-of-the-century Charlotte provided spring training for at least two National League baseball teams.

After the Philadelphia Phillies trained there in 1899, Sporting Life magazine noted that “the place offers so many natural advantages for such work and there is such an absence of temptation in that inland city that Manager [William] Shettsline thinks the Quaker team could not do better than return to the Queen City.”

The Brooklyn Dodgers followed in 1901. “They have already learned that if they signal a street car between blocks and want to get on it, they have to race for it,” the Observer noted after the team’s first day in town. “And that is about as good as running bases.”

The Dodgers capped their week-long stay at Latta Park with a 30-13 exhibition victory over Raleigh of the Carolina-Virginia Inter-State League. Brooklyn right fielder “Wee Willie” Keeler, a future Hall of Famer, managed only a single in six at-bats.