The Bigtopia Barnum Stormers were created on October 13, 1996. They have been commissioned for service during 1997 in CBA's Underleague.

The Barnum Stormers consist of acts that toured with various circuses in the United States and in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th Century. The players represent biological sports, who display a variety of physical deformations. These so-called "freaks" were frequently relegated to supporting themselves by appearing in circus sideshows.

John and Alice Durant in their 1957 book, Pictorial History of the American Circus have written "the public display of human abnormality in its various forms, however grotesque, has always fascinated rather than repelled the majority of people."

The success of the circus sideshow attests to this observation. People were willing to pay to view human oddities. What is the basis of this fascination?

Phineas Taylor Barnum understood the mechanism. The so-called "Shakespeare of advertising" knew that people would pay to see the unusual. In the summer of 1842 he put on display in his new museum the "Feejee Mermaid". This exhibition consisted of a dead monkey's head and torso in a fish's body. Barnum learned that people would pay a lot of money to see it. Real or scam, it didn't seem to matter. On the strength of these types of curiosities, Barnum's museum made a profit of nearly $3,000 in its first year.

Marvelous Human Curiosities. Freaks of Nature. Monstrosities. These were the features that attracted the masses to Barnum's American Museum in New York and to his circus sideshows. An entertainer, an exploiter, humbug or humanitarian? What are we to make of Mr. Barnum? And what are we to make of ourselves? When we view our strangely formed fellow human beings it compassion or something else we feel?

Link to 1998 B'Stormers Roster

Carrie Akers


George Augur


Cardiff Giant History

Jonathan R. Bass


Eli Bowen


Jane Campbell


Chang & Eng


James W. Coffey


John Hanson Craig


Barney Davis


Hiram W. Davis



Etta Lake


Francesco A. Lentini


Jean & Jacques Libbera


Vantile Mack


Ma Phoon


Moung Phoset


Ivannow Orloff


Theodore Peteroff



Charles Stratton


Charles B. Tripp


Billy Wells


Thomas Wilkinson


Lucia Zarate


Emmet Kelly

Field Manager

Jacob Crowninshield

Coach, Batting/Firstbase

Jenny Lind

Coach, Fielding/Thirdbase

Jenny Lind Information

Jenny Lind Page at S. F. Museum

Dan Rice

Pitching Coach

Lou Jacobs

General Manager

Phineas T. Barnum


Barnum at the Discovery Channel

Barnum Animal Crackers from NABISCO

Barnum Museum at Tufts University

Bigtopia Dome

Home Park

Maximum Capacity: 2,111

John and Alice Durant. Pictorial History of the American Circus. A.S. Barnes & Co., New York. 1957.

Picture Credits

Barnum Museum: Lind
Davis Brothers, courtesy of Alton Hall Blackington

Brown Brothers: Libbera

Cristiani Brothers Circus: Big Top Park

Harvard College Library: Mack

Museum of the City of New York: Feejee Mermaid

New York Historical Society: Campbell

New York Public Library: Barnum Beetle

Peabody Museum (Salem, Massachusetts): Chang & Eng, Stratton, Crowninshield

Princeton University: Lake, Wilkinson

Ringling-Barnum Circus: Jacobs

San Antonio Public Library: Akers, Augur, Bass, Bowen, Coffey, Hanson, Lentini, Ma Phoon, Moung, Orloff, Peteroff, Tripp, Wells, Zarate, Tom Thumb Ticket, Barnum Museum Ticket, Rice, Barnum

Sports Illustrated Magazine: Kelly (photograph by John G. Zimmerman)

1997 Bigtopia Barnum Stormers Roster
Published: October 13, 1996
Revised: October 17, 1996; February 12, 1998
Member/Guest Book