Louise Sockalexis was the first-known Native American to play professional baseball. He inspired the nickname for the Cleveland professional baseball team in 1897 and paved the way for other pioneer American Indian baseball players, like Jim Thorpe and Hall of Fame pitcher Charlie Bender. He almost certainly broke professional baseball’s color barrier 50 years before Jackie Robinson and endured similar experiences. Edward Rice grew up in Bangor and spent a career in journalism. He is the author of Baseball’s First Indian, Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian, and Native Trailblazer, Andrew Sockalexis: Penobscot Indian Who Followed the Maine Running Path to Glory and Tragedy.