The Clowns' Story
BARNSTORMING AND THE FORGOTTEN SEASON OF BASEBALL
Lost Innings looks at one of the leading barnstorming teams of the Negro Leagues—The Indianapolis Clowns—the most-traveled, entertainment touring troupe of its time, and the impact they had on furthering our national social situation, as well as our favorite pastime.
The Clowns were a unique crew, known as much for their genius and entertainment as for their impressive roster, which included legends Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Reece “Goose” Tatum, among many others. True founders of the field, they were the first professional baseball team to hire a female player—Toni Stone—followed by Mamie “Peanuts” Johnson and Connie Morgan. As pioneers of the popular ‘shadowball’ and other incredible athletic antics, they also provided the template for today’s Harlem Globetrotters—a living legacy of talent and heart.
Lost Innings will not only examine the Clowns and their role in the history of baseball, but is also a journey inside the soul of America. For one barnstorming band of outcasts, it was a season of cultural disappointment and sheer sporting joy; it was also a season of accomplishment. While we can’t go back and rewrite ourselves as a nation, we can right ourselves through acknowledging those gifts, those efforts, those amazingly raw days of our country—and the sacrifice that went into all our play.