your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
James Giago Davies: Indian athletes continue to excel in baseball

Filed Under: Sports
More on: baseball, james giago davies, native sun news

James Giago Davies. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Baseball plays to strengths of Lakota athletes
Pick it over summer basketball camps
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Correspondent

There are two sports people associate most with the Indian athlete—basketball and distance running.

Basketball is clearly king today, and although distance running has waned competitively the past few decades, Oglala Lakota Billy Mills did win a gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. But the first sport the Indian athlete first made his mark in, was baseball. And Jim Thorpe was noted as the best all-around athlete in the first 50 years of the 1900s.

At the time, basketball had just been invented, and distance running was not something most people bothered training for; you were either good at it or you weren’t, and if you were, there wasn’t even an Olympics for you to win a gold medal.

Every town had a baseball team, but people did not specialize in sport like they do today. The gifted athlete could succeed on his talent much more easily because the average competitor was much more distracted by the demands of life. Even if he made a professional team, he would never be paid much more than the average working stiff who paid a buck or two to watch him perform.

Lou Sockalexis, Chief Meyers, Chief Bender and Zack Wheat were actually better ballplayers than the great Jim Thorpe, who was good enough to play on an excellent New York Giants team under the legendary coach, John McGraw.

As baseball died in the small towns, and the professional ranks became more and more specialized and competitive, Indians found it tougher to make the major leagues, although some still did, like Rudy York and Allie Reynolds. It was obvious they had also had a knack for basketball, and as that sport developed into the dribble-based modern version, getting away from station-to-station set-shot passing, Lakota athletes flocked to it.

It was easier to participate in basketball. It was played indoors, during the school year. Equipment was cheap, and bats and gloves were not. People forgot the Indian ballplayer also had a knack for baseball. Most just stopped playing it, and hardball eventually died altogether. Softball kept the game alive, but organization was poor and competition spotty and tended to end with some beer and pizza and an argument or two.

There is no sport that Lakota athletes could excel at beyond high school better than baseball. Most Lakota boys lack the size to play at a higher level in football and basketball. Indians once also dominated at the highest levels of football, both amateur and professional.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Baseball plays to strengths of Lakota athletes

(Contact James Giago Davies at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Blackfeet Nation citizens approve historic water rights settlement (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux woman still walking (4/21)
James Giago Davies: Our future is not bleak but bright with promise (4/21)
Rosalyn LaPier: Tradition blends with science in tribal communities (4/21)
Simon Moya-Smith: Media continues to peddle in Indian stereotypes (4/21)
Steven Newcomb: Bill in California dehumanizes indigenous peoples (4/21)
American Indian Library Association battles Trump's big budget cut (4/21)
Navajo Nation citizen faces death penalty for murder of tribal officer (4/21)
Meskwaki Tribe diversifies economy with barbecue sauces and more (4/21)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must keep fighting despite gaming win (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Body of missing Cheyenne River man found (4/20)
Ivan Star Comes Out: True tribal histories are concealed in America (4/20)
Steve Russell: Thoughts about sovereignty and tribal governments (4/20)
Dwanna Robertson: Dispelling a common myth about tribal gaming (4/20)
Whiteclay liquor stores ordered to shut down after losing licenses (4/20)
Cherokee Nation blames pharmaceutical industry for opioid crisis (4/20)
Eastern Cherokee citizens back chief amid call for impeachment (4/20)
North Carolina woman punished for abducting Cherokee children (4/20)
Ramapough Lenape Nation denied permit for anti-pipeline camp (4/20)
Ho-Chunk Nation remains confident as rival tribe sues over casino (4/20)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band invests casino funds in unique project (4/20)
Pechanga Band reaches midway point of $285M casino expansion (4/20)
More data needed to address human trafficking in Indian Country (4/19)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee set for 1st field oversight hearing (4/19)
Navajo Nation Council rejects bill to change name to 'Dine Nation' (4/19)
Non-Indian tenant loses bid to stay on Colorado River Reservation (4/19)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River citizen opens bookstore (4/19)
Cheyenne-Arapaho citizen honored for law enforcement service (4/19)
Cronkite News: Attorney General links sanctuary cities to gangs (4/19)
Anna Hohag: Bringing indigenous science to water management (4/19)
Dakota Access Pipeline announces May 14 as first date of service (4/19)
Fort Peck Tribes finally gain access to federal criminal databases (4/19)
Mohegan Tribe wins approval to develop site of former hospital (4/19)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band sues to stop expansion of rival casino (4/19)
Cowlitz Tribe enters law enforcement deal as casino debut nears (4/19)
Trump administration faces test as tribes clash over new casino (4/18)
Attorney General vows help for public safety in Indian Country (4/18)
Zinke cites 'heart-breaking' crime rates against Native women (4/18)
Bill brings funding for AMBER Alert systems to Indian Country (4/18)
Native Sun News Today: Paper moves closer to Native readers (4/18)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Looking at racism through some new eyes (4/18)
Secretary Zinke won't return land taken from Salish and Kootenai (4/18)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.