Green, Guy W.

The founder of the barnstorming Nebraska Indians baseball team in 1897, Guy W. Green, was an energetic baseball promoter through the 1910s. Green said, “I cannot remember a time, when I was not interested in base ball.” He played first base on the Stromsburg, Nebraska, town team, then for Doane College in Crete. In the spring of 1891, at age seventeen, he received his undergraduate degree from Doane, played outfield briefly for the University of Iowa, but returned to Stromsburg to work at the post office and play amateur ball.

Taking his law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1897, he organized the Nebraska Indians just after graduation in June with some help from John DeYoung Smith, a Lincoln lawyer and salesman. Green traveled with team members through 1907 as they crisscrossed the country playing town teams that challenged them. He recruited, coached, and managed players, kept the books, recorded game scores and notable events in the team’s travels, and profited from the sale of Nebraska Indians pamphlets and postcards, as well as from gate receipts. Soon Green’s name appeared on the team postcards as “Sole Owner and Manager,” though he was employed by the Lincoln Machinery Company through 1904, and then as an attorney from 1905 through 1906.

As the Nebraska Indians succeeded, Green attempted to repeat the success of his novelty team by founding an exhibition team of Japanese ballplayers in 1906. The Japanese team quickly folded, but Green attempted an even greater challenge, purchasing the Lincoln Western Association Club in the fall of 1907, and acting as president and general manager of the club in 1908 and early 1909, while Billy Fox acted as field manager and coach.

In July of 1909, in the middle of his second season, Green sold the Lincoln franchise to Don C. Despain and Lowell Stoner. Following his marriage to Minnie A. Ericson in 1910, Green gave up traveling with the Nebraska Indians, and sold the team in late 1911 or early 1912 to Oran and James Beltzer. However, as a Lincoln attorney, Green maintained an interest in Western League baseball, and in 1912 served as an attorney for parties suing Western League Commissioner Norris O’Neil and the National Association. In the early 1920s, Green moved his family to Kansas City.

Beyond his formation of the Nebraska Indians, Green’s greatest contribution to American Indian baseball was his two pamphlets, The Nebraska Indians: A Complete History and Fun and Frolic With an Indian Ball Team. Jeffrey Powers-Beck’s article on the Nebraska Indians is included in the Winter 2004 issue of Nebraska History magazine.

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