Indianapolis Clowns

From BR Bullpen


The Indianapolis Clowns were members of the Negro American League in 1944 and again from 1946 to 1952. They played their home games at Bush Stadium. After leaving the NAL, they became an independent barnstorming unit, and were the last Negro League team when they disbanded after the 1982 season.

A successor of Ethiopian Clowns and Cincinnati Clowns, they put on a racially stereotypical act, frequently wearing grass skirts and wild makeup, and clowning on the field. As a result, many teams opposed their entry into the NAL. In their later barnstorming years, they did a clown routine similar to the Harlem Globetrotters, while signing women and even a midget to playing contracts. In their last two decades, they were an integrated team.

As a league team in 1951, they signed a young Hank Aaron to a contract. Aaron was signed to a contract by the Milwaukee Braves the next year.

See also: baseball clowns.

Further Reading[edit]

  • A.J. Richard: "Playing with the Boys: Gender, Race, and Baseball in Post-War America", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 48, Nr. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 18-28.

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