With a heritage that was (and remains) rare in major league baseball, Charles Bender’s Ojibwe Indian ancestry is inexorably tied to the man who unfortunately came to be known as “Chief.” Breaking into the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1903, he was not a dominant pitcher, never leading the league in any major statistical category besides winning percentage twice. However, he was the man that Connie Mack would always turn to in the pressure situations. He was unfazed by the big stage and won six World Series games, compiling an October ERA of 2.44 and leading the Athletics to three World Championships, in 1910, 1911 and 1913.
Bender’s first serious baseball coach was college football legend, Pop Warner.
September 10, 2010