1888 Indianapolis Hoosiers

From BR Bullpen

1888 Indianapolis Hoosiers / Franchise: Indianapolis Hoosiers / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 50-85, Finished 7th in National League (1888 NL)

Managed by Harry Spence

Ballpark: Athletic Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

According to contemporary sportswriter Guy M. Smith, writing a few decades later, the 1888 Indianapolis Hoosiers attempted to sign African-American infielder Bud Fowler when his team in Crawfordsville, IN folded in mid-season. This was at the urging of owner John T. Brush, who had seen Fowler play against his teams a few times in previous seasons. However, he was prevented from going ahead when the other players on the team objected. Fowler certainly had the talent to play in the majors - he was a dominant players in various integrated minor leagues around that time, but the color line was becoming more and more strictly enforced at the time, and soon the few African-American players in the minors leagues, like Fowler, would be forced to form their own segregated teams as no league would allow them to play.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Kathman: "Did Bud Fowler Almost Break the Major-League Color Line in 1888? A Midwestern Memoir of John T. Brush and Guy M. Smith", The National Pastime, SABR, 51, 2023, pp. 11-17.