(Oct. 8, 1887-Mar. 28, 1972). A native of the eastside of Indianapolis, Bush began his Baseball career playing for local amateur and semi-pro teams before beginning his professional career at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in 1905. He was drafted by seven major league teams in 1907. The Detroit Tigers won his services and sent him to Indianapolis, where Bush helped the Indianapolis Indians win the American Association pennant in 1908. He then returned to Detroit and distinguished himself with his speed and fielding abilities as the team’s primary shortstop for 14 seasons.

A long row of baseball players are lined up in front of a covered grandstand full of people.
Indianapolis baseball team, 1919 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

Bush became a baseball manager in 1923 and managed the Indians from 1924 to 1926. The following season, he managed the Pittsburgh Pirates to the National League pennant. He also managed the National League Cincinnati Reds and the American League Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox, making Bush at the time of his death the only man to have managed two teams in both major leagues.

Known as “Ownie” at home and “Donie” by baseball fans around the country, Bush returned to Indianapolis and, with local banker Frank E. Mckinney Sr., bought the Indians in 1941. Although primary ownership of the club shifted to the Cleveland Indians in 1952 and a broad-based group of community stockholders in 1956, Bush remained with the team as president or general manager until his retirement in 1969. The former city-owned ballpark, Bush Stadium, was named in his honor in 1967.

Overhead view of the infield and stands of a baseball stadium.
Bush Stadium, ca. 1960s Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

The venue was replaced by a new baseball facility in 1996, Victory Field. Bush Stadium was converted into apartment lofts during 2012-2013.

Revised February 2021

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