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.