Sockalexis, Louis M.
- John R. M. Wilson
Sockalexis, Louis M. (24 October 1871–24 December 1913), major league baseball player, was born in Old Town, Maine, a Penobscot Indian. A branch of the Algonquin family of tribes, the Penobscot constitute one of only two tribes now left in Maine, the other being the Passamaquoddy. Numbering only about 700 at the time of the American Revolution, the Penobscot sided with the colonists and were rewarded with a reservation in Old Town, where their numbers gradually increased to around 4,000 by the late twentieth century. Young Louis became famous as a baseball player in Maine, and Holy Cross College recruited him to play for them and get an education in the bargain. In 1894 Sockalexis hit .444 switching between pitcher and outfield, but a drinking problem got him expelled. He next went to Notre Dame, but again alcohol caused him to be kicked out of school. Patsy Tebeau, manager of the National League's Cleveland Spiders, bailed him out of jail and signed him to play major league ball....