2018-11-30 / Community

Author honors Native American baseball player

Author and historian Ed Rice will visit the South Portland Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 to discuss his book about Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American professional baseball player.

Sockalexis was a legendary baseball player in his time, though his name was nearly lost to history. He experienced prejudice and discrimination on and off the field 50 years before Jackie Robinson entered the baseball world, failing to ever receive credit as one of Maine’s most extraordinary athletes. Rice will share the details of his story, focusing on the historical importance and influence of Sockalexis’s career, and why he should be respected and honored with a memorial in Maine. The hope is to recover legacies that have been lost or wrongfully stripped from Sockalexis, and to properly recognize him as the civil rights icon and athlete he was.

Rice’s book, “Baseball’s First Indian, Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian,” is out of print, but will be re-released in 2019. All author royalties from sales of the reissue will be donated to the campaign to build a monument for Louis Sockalexis in Maine.

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