Erwin "Cannonball" Baker to IMS

Probably the most noteworthy personality competing at the 1909 Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is seen here, Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker. This was a few years before he was given the nickname, "Cannon Ball" for his cross-country runs on bikes as well as cars.
 
Baker, an Indianapolis resident, was a hometown favorite. He was also an amateur at this point in his career. He is the only competitor to take part in both this FAM motorcycle meet and the Indianapolis 500, where he drove once, in 1922.
 
This image originally appeared in the July 13, 1909 Indianapolis News. You can find an extensive bio piece on Baker elsewhere on First Super Speedway. Below is the caption that appeared with original picture:
 
"Among the many local motorcyclists who will compete in the national meet of the Federation of American Motorcyclists is Erwin G. Baker. Baker will enter all races in the meet for which he is eligible. He has been riding a motorcycle two years. Baker's latest performance was at Columbus, Ohio, where he captured secon in a ten-mile handicap race on a mile track . In this race he rode against Freddie Huyck. De Gruncy and other riders of national reputation. Baker capture five thirds in this meet. Huyck and De Grunch being first and second. The Indianapolis boy is a daredevil rider and with the chances for unlimited speed which the Speedway will offer much is expected of him. Baker rides an 3.5 and five horsepower Indian."

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