John Tortes

John Tortes "Chief" Meyers: A Baseball Biography

by William A. Young


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One of major league baseball's first Native American stars, John Tortes "Chief" Meyers (1880-1971) was the hard-hitting, award-winning catcher for John McGraw's New York Giants from 1908 to 1915 and later for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He appeared in four World Series and remains heralded for his role as the trusted battery mate of legendary pitcher Christy Mathewson. Unlike other Native American players who eschewed their tribal identities to escape prejudice, Meyers—a member of the Santa Rosa Band of the Cahuilla Tribe of California—remained proud of his heritage and became a tribal leader after his major league career. This first full biography explores John Tortes Meyers's Cahuilla roots and early life, his year at Dartmouth College, his outstanding baseball career, his life after baseball, and his remarkable legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786468010
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 06/25/2012
Pages: 257
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

William A. Young, SABR member, is an emeritus professor of religious studies at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and the author of John Tortes “Chief” Meyers: A Baseball Biography (McFarland, 2012) and several books on the world’s religions. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Prologue: An Evening at Shea Stadium, 1965 5

1 Early Life and Beginning a Career in Baseball (1880-1905) 9

2 Cahuilla Roots 22

3 A Year at Dartmouth College and Three Years in the Minor Leagues (1905-1908) 32

4 "Stranger in a Strange Land": First Seasons with the New York Giants (1908-1910) 50

5 Becoming a Star: The 1911 Season and World Series 78

6 An MVP Year: The 1912 Season and World Series 104

7 Still a Star: The 1913 Season and World Series 134

8 Final Years in Baseball (1914-1920) 158

9 Life After Baseball (1920-1971) 188

Epilogue: Honors, Ongoing Challenges, and Legacy (1972-2011) 207

Chapter Notes 219

Bibliography 237

Index 245

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