I selected “Chief” Bender as NDN All-Star #5 for one simple reason. He was a brilliant baseball pitcher. If you need verification of that – here is a link to his lifetime stats: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bendech01.shtml
Albert, as he preferred to be called, was another athletic star that came from the Carlisle Indian School. (Imagine walking down those hallways and seeing athletes like Jim Thorpe, Albert Bender, Lewis Tewanima, Joe Guyon, etc. as part of the student body…)
Bender made his Major League debut on April 20, 1903 when he was just 19 years old. He would go on to pitch for 15 major league seasons and play in three World Series.
Bender was at his best in high pressure, big-game situations. In the 1911 World Series he pitched three complete games! His manager, Hall of Famer Connie Mack, once said “If I had all the men I’ve ever handled and they were in their prime and there was one big game I wanted to win above all others, Albert would be my man.” Definitely high words of praise and confidence, I would say.
“Chief” Bender was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1953
I just received a book about NDN All-star #5 Albert “Chief” Bender in the mail a few days ago. It is called “Chief Bender’s Burden” written by Tom Swift and published in 2008. I look forward to reading it soon and will post more about Bender in a later blog post.
If any of you have read “Chief Bender’s Burden” let me know what you thought of the book – and of NDN All-Star #5 Albert “Chief” Bender (Ojibwe) in the comments.
#ndnallstars #chiefbender #mlb #ojibwe #HOF #tomswift #chiefbendersburden
If you enjoy the content here and would like to help support our mission of celebrating great Native athletes of the past and present, please take a look at our NDN All-Stars Shop. Proceeds from every purchase help us continue to retell these stories. Also, if you would like to donate to this effort, please visit our Patreon page.
Thank you for your support!