Bush Stadium

From BR Bullpen

(Perry Stadium 1931-1942 and Victory Field 1942-1967)


Home of Indianapolis Indians, 1931 to 1996

Home of Indianapolis Clowns, 1944, 1946 to 1950

BUILT: 1931

FIRST GAME: September 5, 1931, vs. Louisville Colonels (Colonels 4, Indians 3)

LAST GAME: July 3, 1996, vs. Nashville Sounds (Sounds 6, Indians 4)

CAPACITY: 15,000 (1938); 13,254 (1947); 12,934 (1985)

Owen "Donie" Bush in 1930

Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, was the home of Indianapolis affiliated baseball from 1931 through 1996. During its last season, the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association moved into a new downtown ballpark.

The old place also hosted Negro Leagues baseball in at least the 1930s and 1940s. In fact, the Indianapolis Clowns didn't officially disband until 1989, although for the latter couple of decades they were more of a comedy act like basketball's Harlem Globetrotters.

Bush opened as Perry Stadium, named for the late brother of the I-Indians owner who built it. In 1942, Owen "Donie" Bush became the Indians' president and ran a rename contest; World War II fervor produced Victory Field. The city bought the park in 1967 and renamed it for the small-ball master and Hoosier native, but folks kept calling it Victory - leading to that name going onto the new ballpark the city opened in 1996.

Bush plays both Comiskey Park and Redland Field (later Crosley Field) in the film Eight Men Out (1988). It joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, later hosting midget racing as 16th Street Speedway before falling into such disrepair that it was nearly torn down. Instead, in a project born in 2011, it was renovated into the Stadium Loft apartments, with its seats repurposed for bus stops and other community spaces or sold to citizens. The baseball field remains in place behind the apartments.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gary Gillette: "Bush Stadium in Indianapolis (a/k/a Perry Stadium and Victory Field)", in "Still Standing: Where to See Extant Negro League Ballparks", in Sean Forman and Cecilia M. Tan, eds.: The Negro Leagues Are Major Leagues: Essays and Research for Overdue Recognition, Baseball-Reference and SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2021, p. 78. ISBN ISBN 978-1-970159-63-9

Related Sites[edit]

Bush Stadium in 2005