Charleston’s College Park – A Lost Ballpark In The Making

Charleston’s College Park – A Lost Ballpark In The Making

College Park in Charleston, South Carolina, still stands, but just barely. From 1939 to 1996 it was the home of several Charleston, South Carolina, minor league teams including the Rebels, the White Sox, the Pirates, and the River Dogs.

The College Park field
College Park, South Carolina, Former Home of the Charleston Riverdogs

Beginning in 1997, the River Dogs have played their home games at Joesph P. Riley, Jr., Park, located one and a half miles southwest of College Park.

The Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, Current Home of the Charleston River Dogs

Baseball is still played at College Park – it is a practice field for Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

The College Park with protective netting
College Park, Current Practice Field of The Citadel

The ballpark is located in a residential neighborhood at the intersection of Grove Street . . .

Grove Street etched to stone
Grove Street, Imprinted in the Sidewalk

and Rutledge Avenue.

Rutledge Avenue imprinted in the sidewalk
Rutledge Avenue, Imprinted in the Sidewalk

From all outward appearances, i.e, from the street, looking through the fence, College Park looks to be quite well kept.

Front gates with plants and flowers of College Park
Front Gates to College Park

However, behind that fence is evidence of a stadium structure not long for this world.

An old grandstand at College Park
Grandstand at College Park, Barely Standing

The grandstand bench seating has been removed.

Grandstand seats missing from the stands
Grandstand Seating Is No More At College Park

All that remains of the seating is the metal risers with their dinosaur scales-like construction.

The metal risers of the grandstand
The Metal Risers That Once Supported College Park’s Grandstand Seating

The concessions stands behind the grandstand are likewise on the decline. Strolling through the concession area, as well as the grandstand, is akin to visiting a ghost town. All that is needed is some tumble weed rolling through the ballpark.

Former concession stands at College Park
Concession Stands At College Park

The  roof that once protected the concession stands from the weather is no more.

Delapidated concession stands
Delapidated Concession Stands at College Park

The original box seats remain in place at College Park, ringing the third and first base side of the infield.

Rows of first base box seats
First Base Box Seats, College Park
Rows of red third base box seats
Third Base Box Seats, College Park

What is unusual about College Park’s box seats is that they are installed below field level, giving spectators a view similar to what ballplayers might have had from the dugout.

Eye level box seats for the fans
Box Seats Put Fans At Eye Level With the Field

The wooden dugouts at College Park remain, currently used by members of the Citadel’s baseball team.

The College Park dugout along third base
College Park Dugout Along Third Base

There are not too many 1930’s era minor league ballparks remaining in the United States. College Park is one such park, but it is hanging on for dear life. If you find yourself in the Charleston area, stop by the corner of Grove Street and Rutledge Avenue for a visit to the old ballpark. But you better do so soon, as College Park is well on its way to becoming yet another lost ballpark.

Byron Bennett