Barnstorm (sports)
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In
athletics Athletics may refer to: Sports * Sport of athletics, a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking ** Track and field, a sub-category of the above sport * Athletics (physical culture), competitio ...

athletics
terminology, barnstorming refers to sports teams or individual athletes that travel to various locations, usually small towns, to stage exhibition matches. Barnstorming teams differ from
traveling team In professional team sports, a traveling team (also called a road team) is a member of a professional league that never competes in its home arena or stadium. This differs from a barnstorm (athletics), barnstorming team as a barnstorming team compe ...
s in that they operate outside the framework of an established athletic league, while traveling teams are designated by a league, formally or informally, to be a designated visiting team. Barnstorming allowed athletes to compete in two sports; for example, Goose Reece Tatum played basketball for the
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
and baseball for a
Negro leagues The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player ...
barnstorming team. Some barnstorming teams lack home arenas, while others go on "barnstorming tours" in the off-season.


History

Teams in baseball's
Negro leagues The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player ...
often barnstormed before, during, and after their league's regular season.
Hall of Fame baseball
Hall of Fame baseball
pitcher
Satchel Paige Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club sy ...

Satchel Paige
barnstorm toured with
Dempsey HovlandDempsey Hovland (December 11, 1918 - 1979) was a baseball and basketball barnstorm (sports), barnstorming entrepreneur and promoter and multiple sports team owner. He founded the 20th Century Booking Agency, a sports booking management for arranging ...
's Caribbean Kings. Hovland founded (and owned) several barnstorming teams, including the
Texas CowgirlsDempsey Hovland (December 11, 1918 - 1979) was a baseball and basketball barnstorm (sports), barnstorming entrepreneur and promoter and multiple sports team owner. He founded the 20th Century Booking Agency, a sports booking management for arranging ...
(1949–1977), the first integrated professional
women's basketball Women's basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the au ...
team to tour worldwide, and the
New York Harlem QueensDempsey Hovland (December 11, 1918 - 1979) was a baseball and basketball barnstorm (sports), barnstorming entrepreneur and promoter and multiple sports team owner. He founded the 20th Century Booking Agency, a sports booking management for arranging ...
. The
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
and Texas Cowgirls shared training camps, seasons, and circuits. While barnstorming is no longer as popular as it was in the 20th century, some teams such as basketball's
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
,
softball Softball is a game Variations of baseball, similar to baseball played with a larger ball (11 to 16 inches or 28 to 40 cm circumference) on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35 to 43 (professional is 4 ...

softball
's King and His Court founded by
Eddie Feigner Eddie "The King" Feigner (March 25, 1925 – February 9, 2007) was an American softball player. Feigner (pronounced FAY-ner) was born in Walla Walla, Washington as Myrle Vernon King. He was a softball player for much of his early life, and turned ...

Eddie Feigner
and ice hockey's
Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team is an independent barnstorm (sports), barnstorming hockey (and occasionally basketball) team located in Buffalo, New York. Its roster consists entirely of retired National Hockey League players, mostly former ...
carry on the tradition. In the 1990s the
Colorado Silver Bullets The Colorado Silver Bullets were an all-female professional baseball team that played in the United States from 1994 to 1997. The Bullets were the first such team since the folding of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1954.{{Ci ...
women's baseball team resurrected barnstorming because there was no women's league. It was very common in the early days of professional American football; for instance, the Los Angeles Wildcats of the first
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any ...
(AFL) of 1926 played the regular season as a traveling team, then went on a post-season barnstorming tour of Texas and California, with
Red Grange Harold Edward "Red" Grange (June 13, 1903 – January 28, 1991), nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost" and "The Wheaton Iceman", was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and al ...
and the
New York Yankees The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a pl ...
as the designated opponent for most of these games.
NFL The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven play ...
teams were also known to barnstorm in small towns against local teams all the way up through World War II. Several auto racers, most notably
Barney Oldfield Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield (January 29, 1878 – October 4, 1946) was an American pioneer automobile A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self- ...

Barney Oldfield
, staged exhibitions around the United States in the early twentieth century. In 1914 he barnstormed against the aviator
Lincoln Beachey Lincoln Beachey (March 3, 1887 – March 14, 1915) was a Aviation in the pioneer era, pioneer American aviator and barnstorming, barnstormer. He became famous and wealthy from flying exhibitions, staging aerial stunts, helping invent aerobatics ...

Lincoln Beachey
at least 35 times. In
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of rugby f ...
, the
Barbarians A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a u ...
, an invitation-only team, are famous for having no ground or clubhouse."History of the Barbarians"
Barbarian F.C. official website


Teams

;American Football * Los Angeles Wildcats *
Tampa Cardinals The Tampa Cardinals was a barnstorm (sports), barnstorming American football, football team, that played pick-up games, led by future Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Thorpe in 1926. During the time, the team was also bil ...
;Baseball * Caribbean Kings * House of David, a baseball team that toured rural America from the 1920s until the 1950s * Indianapolis Clowns ;Basketball *
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
*Texas Cowgirls *
Washington Generals The Washington Generals are an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the U ...
;Cricket *
Bunbury Cricket ClubBunbury may refer to: Places * Bunbury, Cheshire, England Australia *Bunbury, South Australia, a locality **Bunbury Conservation Reserve, a protected area in South Australia. * Bunbury, Western Australia, a city in Western Australia ** Bunbury, Wes ...
* Kaipaki Nation Cricket Club"Kaipaki Nation Cricket Club"
/ref> ;Ice hockey *
Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Hockey Team is an independent barnstorm (sports), barnstorming hockey (and occasionally basketball) team located in Buffalo, New York. Its roster consists entirely of retired National Hockey League players, mostly former ...
*montreal canadiens legends ;Rugby Union *Barbarian F.C. ;Softball *King and His Court


Other

The Lancaster Barnstormers are a professional baseball team based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is independent baseball, not affiliated with Major League Baseball, MLB.


In popular culture

* In the 2001 book ''Danger Boy'' by Mark London Williams, ''Barnstormers'' is a video game the main character plays, in which players choose humans, vampires, zombies, and other creatures to assemble a barnstorming baseball team that travels the country competing against other teams.


References


Further reading

* {{Cite news, last1=Carig, first1=Marc, last2=Kaplan, first2=Jake, date=4 June 2020, title=How baseball's players hatched a plan for a wild barnstorming tour in 1995, work=The Athletic, url=https://theathletic.com/1835509/2020/06/04/how-baseballs-players-hatched-a-plan-for-a-wild-barnstorming-tour-in-1995/?source=rss, url-access=subscription, access-date=8 June 2020 Terminology used in multiple sports Harlem Globetrotters Basketball terminology Baseball terminology Ice hockey terminology