Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer

Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer

by Bill Wise, Bill Farnsworth
     
 

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A biography of Louis Sockalexis, Penobscot Indian and the first Native American to play professional baseball, focusing on his formative years and culminating in an historic game at New York’s Polo Grounds in 1897.

Overview

A biography of Louis Sockalexis, Penobscot Indian and the first Native American to play professional baseball, focusing on his formative years and culminating in an historic game at New York’s Polo Grounds in 1897.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
A biography of Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis, this nonfiction story begins in 1897 in New York when the major league Cleveland Spiders were playing the Giants. It then goes back in time to describe his boyhood on the Penobscot Indian reservation in Maine. He loved baseball and continued to play despite the fact that his father was against it and that he was often ridiculed by spectators. He was eventually asked to play for the Cleveland Spiders. The text then returns to a vivid description of that game against the Giants in 1897. He established himself as a hero when he hit a ball into the stands that was further than anyone had hit a ball in that ballpark. The story ends at this high point of his life. The "Afterword" details the rest of his life, along with his playing statistics and the honors that he achieved. Oil paintings of his life in Maine and on the playing field are done in warm colors and beautifully represent the context of the story.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5 - This picture book offers a rousing introduction to the life of "the first Native American to play major league baseball." Hooked on the game from age 12, Sockalexis, a member of Maine's Penobscot tribe, won an athletic scholarship to Holy Cross College and was signed by the Cleveland Spiders in 1897. Despite the disapproval of his father, who felt that his son should stay with his people instead of traveling the country with a ball team, Sockalexis was determined to play. Though he faced discrimination both on and off the field, his rookie season started strong. The narrative focuses on his first visit to the famed Polo Grounds stadium, home to the New York Giants and their ace pitcher, Amos Rusie. An afterword points out that though Sockalexis's career was tragically shortened by an injury, his efforts opened the door for Native American players such as Charles Albert Bender and Jim Thorpe. Wise and Farnsworth collaborate to great effect in rendering this story both informative and poignant. The color-drenched paintings do an excellent job of bringing this period to life and capturing the intense emotion of the ballpark drama. This finely crafted look at a little-known sports pioneer should intrigue a wide audience of readers.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781600604287
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
06/29/2005
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,178,550
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
AD920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 Years

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