Louis Sockalexis - pb

SKU: 9781600604287

Bill Wise
Grade Levels:
Three, Four, Five, Six
Penobscot, Woodland
Book Type:
Lee & Low Books
Copyright Data:

Sale price$15.34


Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer is a recent picture book that acknowledges the achievements of Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American professional baseball player in the United States. Louis was a Penobscot boy growing up on the reservation in Maine and by the time he was twelve years old in 1884 he knew he wanted to play baseball. Playing only with other children from the other side of the river brought Louis into world of sports in the United States. Despite his father's concern for his son becoming a baseball player rather that living on the reservation with his family, Louis excelled at high school and college level sports. When Louis was signed by the Cleveland Spiders in 1897 he quickly established himself as a player to be reckoned with. One section of the narrative describes one of the most important moments in his too-brief career. Louis is batting against the most proficient pitcher who was known as the strike-out king. Over two pages of narrative, the author builds suspense as the pitcher takes the mound, prepares to throw, and finally the crack of the bat is heard ringing out as Louis hits the ball out of the park. No one in the stands was expecting this Indian youth to do this remarkable feat. The taunts and jeers of the white crowd are changed to cheers as Louis rounds the bases. Even the senior Sockalexis and family members are in the stands to witness this historic event. Sockalexis spent only a brief time in professional baseball but his entrance and career paved the way for other Native American and African American players. The story explains the difficulties of growing up in New England and the inherent racism of the sports world against Indians participating. Nevertheless the book is a great introduction to this little-known Native American sports legend. An author note at the end of this moving picture book explain the man's life and baseball legacy as well as introduces readers to the sports team mascot issue and the naming of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. DRA: 40; Guided Reading: Level Q; Intervention: 25.

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