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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

HAMMAN WAS UNHAPPY WITH MOVIE ABOUT CLOWNS
Thursday, October 17, 1985


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PIX #1 thru #6 - Reading from top to bottom, left to right: (1) Hamman, the clown, catching grounder by letting it rool up the leg. (2) Satch Paige carries midget Dero to home plate in a suitcase. (3) The bus the clowns travelled in. (4) "Goose" Tatum, first baseman for Clowns and also with Globetrotters. (5) Brimingham Sam and Sonny Jackson hamming it up between innings. (6) Bryon Purnell, outstanding outfielder, once went 190 games without error, and topped .400 as hitter in two seasons.

The book "Some Are Called Clowns" told the story of Ed Hamman's life and became a best seller. Universal Studios recognized it as a ptential success for a movie and employed Hamman as technical adviser to make a film titled "Bingo Long and His Travelling Allstars and Comedy Kings".

In addition to being technical adviser for the filming, Ed selected four of his Indianapolis Clown Team Players and tained them for the comedy routine in the movie.

When the movie finally was produced, Ed was greatly disappointed. He was not given a credit line and the film was rated PG (Parental Guidance).

Ed says it contains smut, vulgarities and other inappropriate content not in keeping with baseball and unsuitable for children to view.

A lawsuit Hamman has instituted against Unversal will be heard in the courts soon in Atlanta.

Hamman told me that old friends in the Fostoria area who have viewed the movie have complained about it. "Children should not have to be told not to watch a game of baseball, but that is the advice in this instance because of some of the content as presented by Universal", Hamman says.

Hamman says the movie hurt the image of Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Ernie Banks, Buck O'Neil, Hank Aaron and others who played traveling baseball - all of whom he knew.

BUSY IN RETIREMENT

In the exchange of correspondence I have had with Ed, whil preparing this series of articles, I learned what he is still doing during his retirement that relates to his many years in baseball.

"I couldn't just sit around while there were kids to teach baseball to", Ed told me. So he started a baseball school. He wrote pamphlets about the game covering every position. One of his pamphlets was for the Little Leaguer, profusely illustrated to teach the kids about baseball.

"I am still busy helping kids, and sending copies of "Be a Winner" and trying to point them to a better life, and to Jesus Christ", he said. "Lots of letters I receive from kids mention their trouble at school, drugs, etc. Sometimes I get them to go back to school".

I know that Ed has always had a great feeling of warmth and compassion for his chosen career and for the individuals with whom he has worked.

In one of our exchanges of correspondence he said, "It was God who gave me the talent for my work and he has taken care of me all my life. It took me a long time to learn it wasn't Ed, What does the Bible say...'lest any man should boast".

Ed also wrote and published a booklet about the major league stadiums, providing statistics on each including measurements from home plate to right, center and left field fences and seating capacities. It is well illustrated.

Here's some of Ed's philosophy...good for adults and kids alike: "Here are 12 important words. The first six are: What can I do to help? They will make the world your oyster. Try them. You will be laughed at. You will be belittled. But in the end, what makes the difference, if you are the guy who not only showed the coach, but showed them all.

"Here are the other six words: Are my parents proud of me? In my book, you have failed if you haven't made them proud of you as a person".

Ed believes the following words have done wonders for many: "we", "thank you" "I made a mistake" "you did a good job", "if you please" Those are the secrets of being well-liked and popular, he says.

Here's more of Ed's philosophy: "Promise yourself every day you will not only show the coach, but show them all. Promise yourself...to know more about your position than anyone. Promise yourself...to to more than the next guy and do it better. Promise yourself...to have more enthusiasm than anyone you know.

Ed Hamman found and married Joyce Pillsbury when he was living in Fostoria. They continued to live here until 1954 at which time he retired and they moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. The Hammans have two daughters.

In 1969 the Hammans began visiting the Inverness area in Florida. They liked it so well they moved there in 1976 and are still there.

Earlier I said that Hamman's life story could fill a book, I have already used more space than I planned to use in telling that story. I must conclude.

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