The Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia

“Thus it occurred that a party of gentlemen formed an organization, combining together health, recreation, and social enjoyment, which was the nucleus of the now great American game of Base Ball so popular in all parts of the United States, than which there is none more manly or more health-giving.”  – The Book of American Pastimes by Charles A. Peverelly

The Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia is here to introduce communities across the region to the sociable and well-played game that defined 1864 base ball and that 12-year period of fine,

high-quality local Clubs before the professional era took hold.  In particular, we are keen to re-establish each of the Clubs the Athletic played from 1859 to 1872 – for re-matches 135-years in the making. We welcome enthusiastic Lady and Gentlemen ball players and arbiters (umpires).  There is a period uniform with your name on it. Claim it. See our Schedule.  Come out to a match!  Meet the New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland Clubs on our home field in Fairmount Park, Memorial Field (right next to the Please Touch Museum).

Email us at to get on our mailing list or ask a question!  Are you or your business interested in becoming a team sponsor?  Running a team like this is expensive!  We need your help!  Please email us ( ) if you are interested.

Some History

The Athletic Base Ball Club was founded in 1859 with the express purpose of playing what was then often referred to as “the New York game.” Early on, Athletic competed against stiff local competition from clubs such as Keystone, Equity, Minerva, Mercantile and many others. These amateur clubs were organized by trade, neighborhood, or from the ranks of clubs devoted to other hobbies. As Athletic grew to be a force on the national scene, many of these clubs became de facto farm teams for the Athletics,
who had the best record in the country in 1867 and 1868. Part of Athletic’s mission was to facilitate the growth of the sport in towns around the region, and Athletic even sponsored the first African-American club to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players. As professionalism took over after the Civil War, the Athletics moved on to become the first champions of the new National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

Athletic would remain a force to be reckoned with until their ejection from the National League after the 1876 season.  Scott “Big Deal” Alberts initiated the revival of the traditions of the amateur Athletic Base Ball Club [“ABBC”] in August of 2009. The revived ABBC seeks to reestablish the convivial amateur spirit of the early game.