This day in baseball: The original Indian

On March 9, 1897, the Cleveland Spiders signed Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian and former Holy Cross star.  Nicknamed “Deerfoot of the Diamond,” Sockalexis was a huge hit with the team’s fans, due to his performance and skill.  His career with Cleveland only lasted three seasons, however, as Sockalexis battled alcoholism.  Some speculate that when the Cleveland team changed its name to the Indians in 1915, it was due in part to Sockalexis’s popularity.

Louis Sockalexis (Wikimedia Commons)

Louis Sockalexis (Wikimedia Commons)

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