Chief Bender

A Baseball Biography


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About the Book

Hall of Famer Charles Albert Bender has been the subject of renewed interest in recent years, as researchers have usefully described his experiences as an American Indian who dominated a game played mostly by whites. Lost in much of the discussion, however, has been Bender’s steady excellence on the mound, where, year in and year out, he was one of the great pitchers in an age famous for pitching.
This biography puts the emphasis squarely on Bender the player, and in particular on the more than 330 regular-season starts in his 16 year major league career, which began and ended in the deadball era. New attention is also given to his time in the minors and to his days after major league stardom, when he worked as a coach and a scout.

About the Author(s)

Robert Peyton Wiggins, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, works in the University of Virginia Health System. The author of several books, he won the 2010 SABR Larry Ritter Award for the Society for American Baseball Research for his book, The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs (McFarland, 2009). He lives in Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Peyton Wiggins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4229-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Prologue: The Chief      3

1. From the Reservation to Carlisle      11
2. Connie Mack’s A’s      29
3. Walking on Air      38
4. The Native American Baseball Player      57
5. A Pennant for Brewerytown      68
6. “I Will Devote My Time … to the Match Shooting Business”      82
7. Twenty-First and Lehigh      107
8. A Stampede of White Elephants      118
9. “Who Can Hit a Pea?”      131
10. “Enough to Sour an Indian”      148
11. Seasons of Discontent      166
12. A Premature Eulogy      187
13. The Bush Leagues      199
14. A Philadelphia Athletic for Life      225

Appendix: Chief Bender’s Pitching Record      239
Chapter Notes      241
Bibliography      253
Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “This impressive book not only reveals new information, but it also does so with a pleasing style and a focus on Bender’s notable achievements on the mound and in other competitive contexts. The discussion is well researched, and the postcareer chapters are interesting, with new original research”—Library Journal
  • “Excellent”—At Home Plate