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Sidebar: 'Bender's Burden' chronicles Native Indian's plight in professional baseball

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Most of the information in this article was taken from the recently released book Chief Bender's Burden: the Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star by Tom Swift.

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The book, published by the University of Nebraska Press, chronicles Charles Albert "Chief" Bender's life from his poor beginnings on the White Earth Reservation to becoming one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball.

His eventual downfall after the 1914 World Series was a possible result of his jump to the upstart Federal League.

He continued managing and scouting baseball until his death in 1954.

Bender struggled between his Native past and his assimilated life in white America his entire career. He embraced his "white life" and left his Native life behind, but America wouldn't forget he was a Native. Bender tolerated the racial prejudice he endured every time he took the mound or was written about.

Author Tom Swift is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

He lives in Northfield, Minn.

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