This Day in History — Brooklyn Dodgers Hire Emmett Kelly as Mascot
On this day in 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that they had hired the infamous circus clown Emmett Kelly to entertain their fans at games. (Read: On this day in history, a lot of people developed a debilitating phobia at a friendly afternoon baseball game in Brooklyn.)
Emmett Leo Kelly (1898-1979) is most famous for creating the circus clown persona of “Wearie Wille,” who was modeled after the hobos of the Depression era.
Before his one year gig with the Dodgers, Kelly worked from 1942-1956 as a clown in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, where he was one of their biggest attractions. Kelly also appeared in several Broadway shows and films, most notably Cecil B. Demile’s 1952 ‘The Greatest how on Earth.’
The idea of a sad clown mascot makes us feel a little nervous in our bellies, but we’ll admit it: Emmett was pretty awesome. RIP, nightmare clown.