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Louis Sockalexis

Louis Sockalexis

1871-1913. Sockalexis was the first Native American to play major league baseball, as well as the first minority player in the National League. 

A member of the Penobscot tribe of Maine, Sockalexis was a multitalented athlete who starred in baseball, football, and track at the College of the Holy Cross before he signed with the National League's Cleveland Spiders in early 1897. Unfortunately, his stardom did not last. He batted .338 in his rookie season, but alcoholism derailed the career of this amazing athlete. 

Sockalexis spent his final years on the Penobscot Indian reservation, teaching Native American boys how to play baseball. He died of heart failure at the age of 42 on October 24, 1913.

Sockalexis was buried at the Old Town cemetery, with his name burned on a wood cross. In 1934, the State of Maine erected a stone marker on his grave.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia