Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker

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Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker

Dearborn County, Indiana, USA
Death 10 May 1960 (aged 78)
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Plot Section 60, Lot 150
Memorial ID 1431 · View Source
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Motorcycle and Race Car Driver. Born in Dearborn County, Indiana, he was a motorcycling pioneer who set dozens of cross-country records riding a variety of motorcycles and was known for record-setting runs in automobiles. In 1908, Baker purchased an Indian motorcycle, began entering races and won the first race ever held at the newly built Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. After a record-setting transcontinental drive in 1914, he was nicknamed "Cannon Ball". From the 1910s through the 1930s, he set 143 driving records and his best remembered drive was a 1933 New York City to Los Angeles trek, setting a 53.5 hour record that stood for nearly 40 years. He also had a focus toward automobiles, drove in the 1922 Indianapolis 500 Race, finishing 11th and became a test driver for automobile companies. He became an AMA race official and later was named the first Commissioner of NASCAR. He died of a heart attack at age 78 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was posthumously inducted to the Motorcycle Museum's Hall of Fame 1998.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1431
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker (12 Mar 1882–10 May 1960), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1431, citing Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .