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Indians to Honor Indy's Negro Leagues History in Annual Civil Rights Game

(file photo courtesy Victory Field)

The Indianapolis Indians turn back the clock Friday for their third annual tribute to one of Indy's old Negro League teams.

The Indians will wear throwback jerseys of the Indianapolis Clowns, the team which gave Hank Aaron his first professional contract. The jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

Negro Leagues historian and author Phil Dixon notes the Clowns weren't Indy's first Negro League team. The Indianapolis ABC's won back-to-back championships during World War One, and hosted the Chicago American Giants in the Negro National League's inaugural game in 1920. But Dixon says the ABC's couldn't survive the sudden death of owner C.I. Taylor in 1922, and folded four years later.

Dixon will be in Indy for the game, and to discuss Negro Leagues history at Martin University. He's been emulating the leagues' barnstorming history this year, setting out to visit all 90 cities which hosted the leagues' most prominent team, the Kansas City Monarchs.

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