"Chief " The American Indian Integration of Baseball, 18971945 jeffrey powers-beck They were called "Chief ": the dozens of Native Americans who played major league baseball from 1897 to 1945 and the hundreds who played minor league ball. Although the story of the African American integration of baseball has been told in great detail, the story of the Native American initiation into professional baseball, starting with Louis Francis Sockalexis in spring 1897, has not yet been fully told. American Indians did not face the same obstacles to participation in professional baseball as did blacks at the turn of the century, but they too endured an integration experience. In one chapter of Baseball: The People's Game, Harold Seymour began to tell that story: Of the two races that fared worst in the United States, the blacks and the Indians, the Indians came off better as far as baseball was concerned. Unlike the blacks who, except for a short space, were barred from the House of Baseball until after World War II, the Indians at least had access to its basement, from which they could aspire to its upper story. For Organized Baseball accepted Indians and rejected blacks. Prejudice toward
The American Indian Quarterly – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 1, 2001
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