Take Me Out to the Ballgame! Indiana’s Major & Minor League Baseball History & Local Players

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Did you realize that over time, Indiana has had five major league baseball teams? There is no doubt that Indiana has a rich baseball history. Many of the baseball traditions that fans enjoy today can be rooted back to Indiana. Kruse Museums is here to talk about the deep roots that baseball has in Indiana.

History of Indianapolis Indian’s Bush Stadium

Although this stadium started out as Perry Stadium when it was first built in 1931, it served as the home of the Indianapolis Indians until 1996. During that time it changed names three times. In 1942, it was renamed Victory Field and later in 1967 was purchased by the city and renamed Bush stadium after the manager that dedicated many years to the team, Owen J. Bush. Many fans throughout that time have memories of baseball games galore.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame Original Song

If you have attended a baseball game, you are sure to have heard “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” a time or two. This iconic baseball game song was first written in 1908 by the Indianapolis native Albert Von Tilzer. It wasn’t always sung during the 7th inning stretch though. In the 70s, Harry Caray, a Hall of Fame Broadcaster, was singing the song in the booth and the crowd simply decided to join in. It has become a favorite tradition of many baseball fans throughout the country ever since.

Watching Baseball Through Knothole Parks

Not everyone used to enjoy watching the game from the comfort of the stadium. For those that don’t remember, many Indianapolis kids used to experience the game through what they called “knothole parks.” The wooden fence has knots in it that could be popped out and the game could be viewed for free through the holes.

Famous Players from Indiana

There are several big names in baseball that have called Indiana home. Here are a few of the greats.
Oscar Charleston– Charleston is native to Indianapolis and played in the first negro game in history for the Indianapolis ABCs. He played for and managed the ABCs, the Indianapolis Crawfords and the Indianapolis Clowns. In the end the number was 14 Negro Leagues teams.
Gil Hodges– Hodges is native to Petersburg and helped baseball shoot into popularity in the 40s and 50s. He was the first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Amos Rusie– At the time, Rusie was the fastest pitcher you could find in the major leagues. He played for the Indianapolis Hoosiers at the age of 18.
Billy Sunday– Sunday set the record for stealing the most bases and later became a well-known evangelist that never lost his love for baseball.

Baseball, Military & Automotive Museums in Auburn, Indiana

If you would like to learn more about famous Indiana baseball players and the state’s rich history, Kruse Museums is the place to do it. With galleries filled with memorabilia including bats, mitts, tickets, uniforms and more, you can spend hours soaking in our baseball museum. Come by and see us today!

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