There’s major league baseball. Then you have the minor and independent leagues. Then you have the teams that are so unserious, they play in actual clown makeup.
Los Alamos in 1953 was a very serious town. While its existence to the world had been made known by this point, it was still a closed city, surrounded by security fences and guards. Lou and Lee Pierotti ran the local soda fountain and were looking for an entertaining way to pass the time. Lou was a gifted softball player and proposed forming a five-man amateur softball team. It was Lee who suggested that the players dress as clowns. This way, if the team ever lost, they could claim they were simply “playing around.”
However, Pierotti’s Clowns didn’t have to make this excuse often. Of the 202 games they played, they won 177. They raised crowds of hundreds wherever they went, and also raised over $200,000 for charity over the course of their careers. Their popularity was due in large part to their amusing antics. These included fielding with trash can lids, playing impromptu dice games next to the pitcher’s mound, and playing with fruit instead of softballs. On occasions, they even had their star pitcher, Bun Ryan, throw blindfolded.
Pierotti’s Clowns disbanded in 1977 after 25 years of existence. A monument in their honor was built in front of the local library. The mural, which was designed by local artist Susan Dailey, depicts the Clowns in their full makeup, hamming it up while Ryan pitches blindfolded. A plaque next to the mural gives additional information about the team, including a full player list.
Know Before You Go
The mural of the Clowns is located on Central Avenue, in front of Mesa Public Library. There is plenty of parking in the area, including the library, Fuller Lodge, and along Central Avenue itself.