Max Patkin enjoyed a long career as an entertainer in baseball, writes Irwin Cohen for JewishPress.com.
Known lovingly by many as the Clown Prince of Baseball, the Paoli man saw his first game as a child with his Hebrew school class. Years later, he become a pitcher in the minor leagues.
While he was serving in the Navy in 1944, his team played Joe DiMaggio’s. Patkin spent the game following DiMaggio around the bases and clowning along the way. Soldiers and spectators loved it so he decided to incorporate some of these antics into his pitching.
Once he was released as a pitcher, he decided to stay in baseball as an entertainer. He was hired to perform during spring training games by the Cleveland Indians. His antics proved so popular that he was hired both as a first base coach and as a drawing card.
“I loved the adulation, I loved being Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball,” said Patkin once.
Over the coming decades, he was hired as a clown-coach by various teams, to the delight of their supporters. He retired in 1996 and moved into his daughter’s home in Paoli. He died three years later.
Patkin is buried at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Collingdale.
Read more about Max Patkin at JewishPress.com.
Here is a teaser for a Max Patkin documentary.