The Indianapolis Indians are a Triple-A baseball organization, affiliated with the majors’ Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians were founded in 1902 in Indianapolis; in the entire minor league, there is only one other franchise older than the revered Indianapolis Indians: the Rochester Red Wings.
The early home of the Indianapolis Indians was split among several different Indianapolis parks, but in 1929, new owner Norm Perry had a stadium constructed to memorialize his deceased brother. The stadium was known as Perry Stadium until 1929, when it was changed to Victory Field; the field was renamed Bush Stadium in 1967.
Ownership of the Tribe was held by Owen Bush and Frank McKinney from 1941 to 1952, when the ball team was sold to the Cleveland Indians. Four seasons followed when the team’s books were in the red. At that point, the Indianapolis sports community, with the help of the local Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Star and the state of Indiana, arranged for the Indians to go public. Over 20,000 shares were quickly sold, and the Indians were on their way to a new life under President Owen J. Bush, a former Indians player. Bush was succeeded in 1969 by Max Schumacher, who led the team to profitability for 28 years.
During the 1961-1963 seasons, the Indianapolis Indians won three pennants, including a championship pennant in 1963
In 1996, the team benefited greatly from a move to downtown Indianapolis and their present home, the newly built Victory Field. Their new home cost some $18 million dollars to build and is located in the beautiful White River State Park. This state-of-the-art athletic facility boasts nearly 14,000 seats in addition to a 2,000-capacity outfield; the stadium also has nearly 30 private suites.
Attendance averages a whopping 600,000 fans these days, and the Indianapolis Indians‘ new home earned the title of “best minor league ballpark” in the nation from Baseball America in 1999. The Indians have played on ESPN2 and to sellout crowds and have sent ten members off to win permanent places in the Hall of Fame.
Rowdie, the big red bear, is the Tribe’s mascot, who sports an Indians cap and a jersey with the number “00” on the back. Rowdie is undoubtedly every bit as popular with the thousands of diehard Indians fans as the rest of the members of the team, especially with the Indianapolis kids. But there is no question that an Indianapolis Indians game will always be a fun thing to do in Indianapolis.
501 W Maryland St
Indianapolis, IN 46225