Inductee Profile

Max Patkin

shof-1998-Max_PatkinMax Patkin, to millions of Americans, is known simply as the “Clown Prince of Baseball”. His appearance as an underfed scarecrow, with 185 pounds spread out over a 6’3″ frame and his rubber-like face dominated by his nose, give Patkin the natural funny appearance of a true clown, which he has used to entertain millions of boys and girls, men and women in small towns and large cities across the country.

Each season, he appeared before more than two million fans in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. As a comic, he did hitches with two American League teams, the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Browns before barnstorming across the country on his own.

A graduate of and star player at West Philadelphia High School, Patkin, as a baseball comedian, was the successor to Al Schact, the first person to mix comedy with baseball in the 1920s.

Patkin reached the pinnacle of his storied career and of his popularity with a guest appearance in the major motion picture Bull Durham in 1988. He entered professional baseball in 1941 with a farm team for the Chicago White Sox and did fairly well until he injured his pitching arm and was released in 1942.

Following a World War II stint in the Navy, he briefly played for Wilkes-Barre in the Eastern League. Later that year, he returned to baseball, this time as a comedian. He went on to become one of the best known figures in baseball.