October 29, 2022 | Last updated Jun 21, 2023

Native American Baseball Teams

The photograph collections of History Nebraska contain more than two hundred images of Nebraska baseball players, teams, and diamonds. The images reflect the pride and support the teams engendered, especially when they represented their hometowns.

Several photographs in the collections document Native American baseball teams. Whether representing their school or a business enterprise, these teams took pride in their skills and their involvement in the national game.

 

Green's Nebraska Indian baseball team

The most famous team of barnstorming Indian baseball players was Green’s Nebraska Indians. Formed by Lincoln businessman Guy W. Green, the Indians crisscrossed the country from 1897 into the 1910s, playing town teams that challenged them. Although the name implied that Native Americans constituted the team, it is clear that white players were also members. 

 

Genoa Indian School baseball team


The U.S. Industrial Indian School at Genoa existed to assimilate Native children into white society by removing them from their families and culture. (Read more here.) By the early twentieth century, the school had a baseball team, pictured here, that competed successfully against area white schools.

 

Oxford Indian of Oxford, Nebraska


Perhaps hoping to repeat the success of Green’s Nebraska Indians, the Oxford Indians of Oxford, Nebraska, formed around 1909. It appears that this group of “Indians” included a fair representation of whites.

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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