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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:207
  • eBook ISBN:9781594909658

Baseball’s First Indian

Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian

by Ed Rice

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Overview
Born in 1871 on Maine’s Penobscot Indian reservation and nephew of a chief, Louis Sockalexis became professional baseball’s first American Indian player. Ultimately, his prowess on the diamond inspired the nickname Cleveland’s baseball team carries today. Baseball’s First Indian explores the brilliant but too-brief major league career of the “Deerfoot of the Diamond” at the end of the 1890s, follows his fall of New England’s minor leagues, and watches his final return to the reservation in Maine where he continued as a baseball coach and umpire. Maine author Ed Rice’s fascinating study of the life of Louis Sockalexis is filled with game-by-game action and leavened by the flamboyant and colorful stories of 19th-century sportswriters who frequently invented what the truth would not supply. Every student of baseball history will treasure Baseball’s First Indian.
Description
Born in 1871 on Maine’s Penobscot Indian reservation and nephew of a chief, Louis Sockalexis became professional baseball’s first American Indian player. Ultimately, his prowess on the diamond inspired the nickname Cleveland’s baseball team carries today. Baseball’s First Indian explores the brilliant but too-brief major league career of the “Deerfoot of the Diamond” at the end of the 1890s, follows his fall of New England’s minor leagues, and watches his final return to the reservation in Maine where he continued as a baseball coach and umpire. Maine author Ed Rice’s fascinating study of the life of Louis Sockalexis is filled with game-by-game action and leavened by the flamboyant and colorful stories of 19th-century sportswriters who frequently invented what the truth would not supply. Every student of baseball history will treasure Baseball’s First Indian.
About the author
Born in Brookline, Mass., Ed Rice grew up in Bangor, Maine, and graduated from Bangor High School in 1966. He holds a B.A. from Northeastern University and an M.Ed. from the University of Southern Maine. Formerly a reporter for several daily newspapers, Rice has served as the editor of the Weekly Journal in Brewer, Maine, and the Winchester Town Crier in Winchester, Mass. He has been a theater critic and arts commentator for the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, Maine Times, and Maine Public Broadcasting System’s “Maine Things Considered” on radio. Rice has taught journalism and communication studies at the University of Maine at Orono and Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. He has also taught high school English and coached cross-country. In February of 2000 he wrote the biographical profile of Louis Sockalexis that annually appears in the Cleveland Indians Media Guide and on the team’s web-site pages. Rice also spearheaded the nomination drive that led to the induction of both Louis and Andrew Sockalexis into the national American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in Lawrence, Kansas, in April of 2000. His nomination also led to the induction of Andrew Sockalexis into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 1990. He has written an as-yet-unpublished biography of Olympic marathon runner Andrew Sockalexis. An avid long distance runner who has completed 25 marathons (including eight Boston Marathons), Rice created Bangor’s popular Terry Fox 5-K Run in 1982 and has continued to direct the charity event, which raises money for breast cancer research at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, for over twenty years. In 1997 he ran across the State of Massachusetts (162 miles in seven days) in support of a friend, the late Ginny DelVecchio, who was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, and in support of a research fund he co-created at Massachusetts General Hospital to find a cure for this insidious disease.
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