58 years in broadcasting
Bob's Sports History & Nostalgia Radio Show WAVL 910 AM Dial Saturdays 9:30 am
The Native Americans
Whoe Played Baseball
Is A Surprising Number
In a day and age of political correctness, I’m among those who believe we honor the American Indian with the use of some of their nicknames in sports, such as the Braves, Redskins and Indians. I’m sure you’re aware of the movement that aims to change all of that some day.
Consider some of baseball’s greats with Indian blood lines like Allie Reynolds and Jim Thorpe. If you go back far enough, you’ll learn that even the great Apache Geronimo, also played baseball. In fact, if you go back in history a little further, you’ll find that Lewis & Clark taught the Nez Perce Indians a form of baseball in 1804. Bet you didn’t know that!
An integral part of first attempts at formal education, religious conversion and assimilation into a white society was the playing of sports, like baseball, at federally operated boarding schools dating back to 1879. That’s how Jim Thorpe was introduced to sports, playing for pride. Since then, more than 50 athletes of Indian decent have played professional baseball.
So, why should we change Native-American nicknames to something considered “politically-correct” when the intent is to honor their memory, not disgrace it?