Skip to content

Rounding the Bases: What We’re Reading

March 28, 2008

• By way of the Library of Congress Blog comes word of the new thematic portal, “America’s Pastime,” that provides ready access to the Library’s extensive collection of baseball-related resources.

The Boston Phoenix reviews books that plumb the seven deadly sins of baseball, including a capsule review of Tom Swift’s new biography of Charles Albert Bender:

In Chief Bender’s Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star (University of Nebraska Press), journalist Tom Swift has crafted a substantial, vivid story of one of the best pitchers of the game’s early years. Charles Albert Bender was a member of the Ojibwa tribe. He was much loved by his Philadelphia Athletics teammates. But opponents, fans, and media were a different story. Newspapers portrayed him as a crude caricature. “I’m sorry, old Pitch-Em-Heap,” said dead-ball-era star “Turkey” Mike Donlin as he strode to the plate, “but here’s where you go back to the reservation.” At the Polo Grounds during the 1905 World Series, the cat calls shrieked: “Back to the teepee for you!”***

A fantastic profile of Chickasaw composer, Jerod Tate, his work with the San Francisco Symphony, and latest CD from Thunderbird Records. Be sure not to miss the audio links.

• And at the Iroquois Indian Museum, only 40 miles from Cooperstown, a new exhibit, Baseball’s League of Nations: A Tribute to Native American Baseball Players, which opens April 1st and runs through the end of the year.

***Fun fact from the Baseball Almanac: “There are fourteen former ballplayers who were either commonly called ‘chief’ or simply nicknamed ‘chief’ and in the Encyclopedia of North American Indians they wrote, ‘It is worth pointing out that while American Indian ballplayers were nearly always called ‘Chief,’ this nickname was used much less often among Indians themselves. John ‘Chief’ Meyers, for example, a Mission Indian who played against Bender, referred to him as Charlie.'” (Our thanks to Allison for the link.)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: