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 name Cleveland's baseball team carries today.
Exploring the brilliant but too-brief major league career of the "Deerfoot of the Diamond," Baseball's First Indian follows Sockalexis's rise to the majors, his fall to the minor leagues of New England, and his final return to the reservation in Maine, where he continued to coach baseball and work as an umpire.
This fascinating study of the life of Louis Sockalexis is filled with game action and leavened by the flamboyant and colorful stories of 19th century sportswriters who frequently invented what the truth would not supply. It's a treasure for every student of baseball history.
Ed Rice grew up in Bangor, Maine, and has been an arts critic for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Maine Times, and Maine Public Broadcasting System’s “Maine Things Considered.” He has taught journalism and communication studies at several colleges, as well as taught high school English and coached cross country. An avid long distance runner who has completed 27 marathons (including eight Boston Marathons), Rice created Bangor’s popular Terry Fox 5-k in 1982 and directed the charity event for over twenty years. In 1997 he ran across the state of Massachusetts (162 miles in seven days) in support of a research fund to help end ALS. Rice also edited If They Could Only Hear Me, a collection of personal essays about the fight against ALS. He lives with his wife, Susan, in New Brunswick, Canada.