Henry, Joe - Prince Joe
‘PRINCE JOE’ HENRY
Memphis Red Sox 1950-52 (NAL)
Injuries put an end to a two-plus-season stint holding down second base for the Memphis Red Sox in the early 1950’s, but Henry resurfaced in 1955 with the storied Indianapolis Clowns franchise. Henry's showmanship at third base during two seasons in Indianapolis, a team that counts home-run king Henry Aaron among its alumni and is often compared to basketball's Harlem Globetrotters, earned him the nickname "Prince Joe." After sitting out 1957, Prince Joe was coaxed back to the diamond by Detroit Stars owner Ted Rasberry, who renamed his team "Goose Tatum's Detroit Clowns" after the famous Globetrotter and Negro League phenom.
In the hot summer heat, Joe Henry dons tails and top hat to entertain the fans. He painted his shoes red and sometimes turned his back to the pitcher during the windup.
Recalling his days in the league he said, "As I look back, it was the best experience I ever had in my life... the Negro Leagues took me to just about every state in the country and Canada. I had an offer from Goose Tatum to go with him to Europe, but it was across the water and I didn't like to fly.