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Louis Sockalexis

Updated on April 9, 2015

Louis Sockalexis - The Cleveland Indian

Although the Cleveland team was called The Spiders, The Naps, The Blues, etc., sports writers continued to refer to the team as the Indians long after Sockalexis had left.

Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian from the state of Maine, joined the Cleveland Spiders in 1897 after a successful college career at Holy Cross. He made such an impression that he was christened the "The Cleveland Indian" by the local sportswriters. It was at this point, the writers began calling the team the Indians, and continue to do so to this day.

Sockalexis passed away at an early age of 42 In 1914. The following year the Cleveland team formally changed their name to the Indians in remembrance of the athlete who accomplished so much in so little time.

When Sockalexis joined the Cleveland team, he became the first Native American to play major league ball, and the first minority of any kind in the National League.

Three Points, No Strikes

Things About Sockalexis I Bet you Did Not Know

"Maybe someday I will be a great player, but not yet. I have a good deal to learn and watch every player, some of whom may do something of benefit to me to me another time."

1. Louis Sockalexis was called the "Deerfoot Of The Diamond" for his speed.

2. In his youth, it was told he could throw a baseball across the Penobscot River.

3. Being a true athlete, he was a versatile player who could play just about any position in the game of baseball.

A Dedicated Fan Sings His Song

How It All Began - The story of Sockalexis and The Cleveland Indians

Baseball's First Indian, Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian
Baseball's First Indian, Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian

Louis Sockalexis was the inspiration for the Cleveland Indians legendary logo that has embraced and filled fans and friends with team spirit. Without both the logo or the legend of Sockalexis, there may not be a Cleveland Indians, or minorities playing major league baseball today.


A Baseball Reliquary - Shrine Dedicated To Louis Sockalexis

Shrines dedicated to baseball heroes of days gone by.
Shrines dedicated to baseball heroes of days gone by. | Source

The Baseball Requary

Hahamongna Watershed Park, Pasedena:
Hahamongna Watershed Park, 101 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, USA

get directions

Remembering The Baseball Giant

Detail of shrine to Louis Sockalexis from The Baseball Reliquary in Pasedena, California. The link will take you to the reliquary directly. Below is a Google map of the shrine location as displayed in the year 2000.

A Man Of Influence

Louis Sockalexis is one of the Influential People who often go unnoticed yet make their mark in this world. You are welcome to add comment, links, and contribute information about this talented athlete and fine representative of the Penobscot tribe. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit.

The Cleveland Baseball Club

Friends Of The Tribe

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    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A wonderful lens! So interesting! 5*

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      9 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens! 5*

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is awesome! I had never heard of Sockalexis before. Thank you for sharing!


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