Thursday, April 11, 2013

Double Duty Greene - Switch Pitcher

Ulysses Grant Greene
Nicknames: Two-Way, Double Duty Greene

Hometown: Tobaccoville, N.C.

Ulysses Grant Greene throwing lefty
(Jet, Aug 7, 1958)
Position: Switch Pitcher
Team: Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League in the 1950s

Height/Weight: 6'1"  165 lbs
Threw: Both (Ambidextrous pitcher)

Ulysses Grant Greene was an ambidextrous pitcher for the Indianapolis Clowns in the late 1950s. In 1959,  Two-Way Greene compiled a record of 23 victories.

"A sensation with the Indianapolis Clowns, the six-foot, 165-pounder from Tobaccoville, N. C., often pitches as a lefty, then comes back the next day as a right-hander." (Jet, 1958)

Greene was a reasonably good hitter who could play anywhere but behind the plate. More important, he was an ambidextrous pitcher, who threw right-handed to right-handed batters and left-handed to left-handed batters. (source: Barnstorming to Heaven: Syd Pollock and His Great Black Teams by Alan J. Pollock)

Some Nego League players in the 1940s thought the Clowns gave the league a bad reputation. The Clowns had a juggler, a contortionist, a midget, and an ambidextrous pitcher, Double Duty Green.
(source: A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball, by Jerry Poling)

Ulysses S. Grant Greene is not so familiar to the history books, but opposing base ball players will tell you the Indianapolis Clowns pitcher has his own special kind of strategy.

Greene is expected to be on the mound for some part of the Clowns' two area appearances against the New York Royals baseball team. 

Because of his unique ability to "switch pitch" against opposing batsmen, Greene is in demand to play for a part of every game the Clowns play in major cities. Baltimore and Washington fit into this category.

His strategy is simple. By throwing with either hand, Greene thwarts the opponents when they try to play percentage baseball against him. They can't send up left-handed pinch hitters for right-handed batters, because Ulysses S. just turns around, too.

The Indianapolis Clowns, billed as world colored champions, are playing the New York Royals training club from Harlem.

One of their funmakers who combines good humor with baseball excellence is Ulysses (Two-Way) Greene a switch pitcher who can alternate from southpaw to starboard and last season compiled a record of 23 victories. He also boasts a past jitterbug championship of North Carolina. 

Clowns play Flyers in local stadium
Washington Afro-American - May 26, 1959

Boyd describes his charges as a "showcase" of talent." Besides talent, there wil be plenty of comedy, too, for the Clowns will parade Natureboy Williams, Bobo Nickerson and Two-Way Greene in the comic department.

Green, the switch-pitcher, will go two innings then assist in the comedy routines.

Read more

Indianapolis Clowns Here April 27
Daytona Beach Morning Journal - Apr 18, 1959

In the pitching department, ambidextrous switch pitcher Ulysses Grant Green is back on the mound bewildering the opposition with his double duty hurling.

Other players featured include ageless King Tut, who has been a fixture with the clowns for 30 years, Bobo Nickerson, Nature Boy Williams and Midget Bebop.

Clowns set Pittsburgh Mark as 11,400 turn out
Washington Afro-American - Aug 12, 1958

Ulysses Grant Green, 17-year-old Tobaccoville, N.C. hurler, pitched two scoreless innings. The game was called at the end of the sixth inning because of rain.

Clowns Rookie Hurler Wins 3 Key Games
St. Petersburg Times - Aug 18, 1959

Continuing their domination of the barnstorm circuit, Syd Pollock's famed Indianapolis Clowns baseball team chalked up three straight wins over their touring counterpart, the highly-touted Georgia Flyers.

Ulysses Grant Greene, double-duty ace of the Clowns' pitching staff, humbled the Flyers, 4-2, at Fairgrounds Stadium, Louisville; blanked them 4-0 in Winston Salem, N.C., and was credited with a 2-1 win in Lexington, Ky., before a near capacity crowd at Frisch's Park.

Greene, an ambidextrous hurler who tosses 'em up equally well with either hand, scattered eight hits.

The former high school star pitched a five-hitter in Winston Salem before a crowd estimated at over 1,000 fans.

Clowns, Hawks return to stadium on July 8
Baltimore Afro-American - Jul 1, 1958

The Clowns won the last appearance here with the Hawks, 6-2, with Ulysses Grant Green, a switch-pitcher, hurling four-hit ball.

Greene, a 17-year-old find from Tobaccoville, North Carolina, is certain to draw another hurling assignment here. He had just joined the Clowns on his first local appearance and since has been going great for the Funmakers.

The 6-foot-1, 165 - pounder, built along the pattern of Old Satch Paige, has been baffling opposing batters all along the circuit with his double - dealing. He hurls righthandedly to the righthand batters, then switches to southpaw twirling when he is faced by a lefthand hitter.

He showed good control in his local victory over the Hawks and Manager Sylvester Snead has promised to start him when the Clowns and Hawks play here.

Indianapolis Clowns

Playing variously as the Indianapolis Clowns and Cincinnati Clowns, the club was the only clowning team to earn entrance into black baseball's "majors." From its beginnings as the Miami Giants and transition to the Ethiopian Clowns, the team built a national following as one of baseball's favorite entertainment attractions during the 1930s. Though the Clowns always played a credible brand of baseball, their Harlem Globetrotter-like clowning routines was the stuff that paid the bills and brought them national attention.

Indianapolis Clowns
Years in the Negro Leagues: 17 seasons, 1946-62
Better known for their colorful antics, the Clowns were also a sound baseball team. In 1952, they won the Negro American League championship with a young cross-handed slugger from Mobile, Ala., named Hank Aaron.


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