Hank Aaron Indianapolis Clowns Special Edition Bobblehead Unveiled
MILWAUKEE –This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled an officially licensed Hank Aaron Special Edition Bobblehead featuring the Mobile, Alabama, native, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves legend, and Baseball Hall of Famer wearing the uniform of the storied Indianapolis Clowns. Aaron was born in Mobile on February 5, 1934, and spent his childhood in Mobile before leaving to play baseball for the Indianapolis Clowns. The bobblehead commemorates the time Aaron spent with the Clowns during the 1952 season – his first in professional baseball. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has collaborated with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Dreams Fulfilled to produce a series of officially licensed Negro Leagues bobbleheads which includes this new bobblehead.
Wearing a blue Clowns’ uniform with red and white trim and the number five on the jersey, the over-sized nine-inch bobblehead features a swinging Aaron batting in the same pose as his first known card, which was a team issued postcard from 1952. A replica of the postcard is on the reverse side of the backing, which has his Clowns’ #5 and professional #44. The bobblehead is on a baseball field base which has Aaron’s name on the front and “In Memoriam: Feb. 5, 1934 – Jan. 22, 2021” on the back.
The bobbleheads, which just arrived and ship now, are available for purchase through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. Each bobblehead is individually numbered to only 755 to commemorate his 755 MLB career home runs. The bobbleheads are $44 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order.
On November 20th, 1951, 17-year-old Aaron was signed by scout Ed Scott to play shortstop for the Indianapolis Clowns, one of the storied franchises in the Negro American League. Scott, who became the first African American scout in the history of the Boston Red Sox, spotted Aaron playing in a softball game in Mobile, Alabama. “If that boy can hit a softball that far, how far can he hit a baseball?” Ed Scott Jr. quoted his father as saying. In his three-month stint playing for Clowns manager Buster Haywood during the 1952 season, the cross-handed hitting Aaron played shortstop and batted third or cleanup. In 26 games, Aaron batted .366 with five home runs, 33 RBI and nine stolen bases, according to the Howe Sports Bureau.
Aaron, who earned $200 month with the Clowns, received two MLB contract offers via telegram due to his standout play. In the end, he chose the Boston Braves over the New York Giants. After spending the 1952 season with the Eau Claire Bears in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Aaron played with the Jacksonville Braves in 1953 before making his big-league debut with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954.
In his 23-year Major League career in which he played for the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers from 1954 to 1976, Aaron recorded 755 home runs. He famously broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record with his 715th home run on April 8th, 1974. Aaron is MLB’s all-time leader in RBI (2,297), total bases (6,856) and extra-base hits (1,477). Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, which was his first year of eligibility.
“Hank Aaron will forever be one of the best players in baseball history, and part of that history includes his time with the Indianapolis Clowns,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “It’s important to remember the history of the Negro Leagues, and this special edition bobblehead will help keep that part of Aaron’s legacy alive.”
In addition to being available in the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store and at the Museum, the Negro Leagues bobbleheads can be found at retail outlets including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri; the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; and NegroLeaguesHistory.com.
About the Negro Leagues:
The first successful Negro League was founded by Rube Foster on February 13, 1920, at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City. Foster believed an organized league structured like major league baseball would lead to eventual integration of the sport and racial reconciliation. Foster did not live to see his dream come true. Others picked up his cause, and in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line.
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Dreams Fulfilled:
Dreams Fulfilled was organized to promote the Negro National League Centennial in 2020. Its founder, Jay Caldwell, has been selected by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the primary exhibitor for an art and artifact exhibition at the museum between February 1 and May 31, 2020. Dreams Fulfilled will be exhibiting 300 original pieces of art honoring Negro League players and nearly 100 artifacts of African American baseball dating back to 1871. Visit us at www.NegroLeaguesHistory.com or www.facebook.com/NegroLeaguesHistory.
About the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America. The NLBM operates one block from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster founded the Negro National League in 1920. In 2006, the NLBM was designated as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” by the United States Congress.