“Nature Boy” Williams

31 Dec

natureboy

By the time James “Nature Boy” Williams joined the Indianapolis Clowns in 1955 the team had become a full-time barnstorming attraction, having dropped out of the Negro American League which itself was in its death throes.

Later that season The Washington Afro-American said:

 “Williams already has become the fans’ number one idol.  His side-splitting antics and peculiar catches around first base have won rave notices.”

The 6’ 2” 220 pound Williams spent more than a decade with the clowns and was known for batting barefoot, playing with the large glove–as pictured–and dancing at first base with umpires.

Jet Magazine reported in 1964:

“Williams played the entire 1963 season with his right eye completely blind due to an off-season accident and without even his teammates knowing his condition.”

natureboywilliams

The Clowns played their last full season of tour dates in 1988, the team officially disbanded after playing a few games in 1989.

Williams died in Maryland in 1980 at the age of 50.

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2 Responses to ““Nature Boy” Williams”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Thousand Words—Dero Austin « Baseball History Daily - January 10, 2013

    […] quickly joined  James “Nature Boy” Williams as one of the most popular members of the barnstorming team, but the Clowns’ were well past their […]

  2. Birmingham Sam— The Last Great Star of the Indianapolis Clowns « Baseball History Daily - February 21, 2013

    […] led to his retirement in the spring of 1959, left a void with the Indianapolis Clowns— James “Nature Boy” Williams, was popular, but the barnstormers needed someone with Tut’s charisma.  They finally found him […]

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