Free Box of Cracker Jack Popcorn at MSL!

September 30, 2013

James Ritter
Director of Reader and Information Services
(207)287-5604

Get a free box of Cracker Jack Popcorn at the State Library on October 24!

What do the Boston Red Sox, being poised to win the pennant, the Cleveland Indians, landing a Wild Card spot, and the fact that there are 119 marathon races across the US in October have in common? You’ll need to come to the Maine State Library (MSL) on October 24 to find out!

Join MSL and author Ed Rice on October 24 at 6:00 pm to celebrate the rich history of two of Maine’s most influential Native American athletes – Luis and Andrew Sockalexis. These two cousins were pioneers in Baseball and Long Distance Running, respectively, and Ed Rice will share his extensive knowledge of these remarkable men and their contribution to American sports. MSL will host Mr. Rice’s author discussion, which will be followed by a book signing featuring two of his books, “Baseball’s First Indian – Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian” and “Native Trailblazer, Andrew Sockalexis: Penobscot Indian Who Followed the Maine Running Path to Glory and Tragedy.”

Additionally, Mr. Rice is donating his life’s research relating to the Sockalexis’ to the Maine State Library. Termed, “The Sockalexis Papers,” the Maine State Library will be home to Rice’s years of research regarding these remarkable athletes, so that future researchers, authors, scholars, or those with an interest in Native American athletes will have access to this rich collection.

So, we ask rhetorically, what do the Boston Red Sox, being poised to win the pennant, the Cleveland Indians, landing a Wild Card spot, and the fact that there are 119 marathon races across the US in October have in common? The Sockalexis’ of course!

While most of us here in Maine are proud of, and gun-ho for, our beloved Red Sox, there’s another fascinating story brewing in Major League Baseball’s American League. The Cleveland Indians are guaranteed a post season spot and that makes the Maine State Library’s event featuring Ed Rice and his discussion of the Sockalexis cousins all the more timely and interesting. In fact, with the World Series beginning October 23, there is no better time to celebrate the life and times of Louis Sockalexis, arguably ‘baseball’s first Indian’ as told through Mr. Rice’s book “Baseball’s First Indian – Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian.” And yes, to get into baseball fever, we will offer a free box of Cracker Jack Popcorn to all attendees!

Furthermore, with 119 marathon races across the country in October, Andrew Sockalexis will be with all of us in spirit this month – especially since the Peak Performance Maine Marathon (a qualifier for the Boston Marathon) is held on October 6.

About Louis and Andrew Sockalexis:

Louis Sockalexis, a legendary Penobscot Indian athlete from Maine, is hailed as being one of the greatest college baseball players of all time. He played at Holy Cross College, and played for the Cleveland Spiders in 1897 for 94 games. Sockalexis’ heritage ultimately became the namesake of the team he once played for. In 1914, Cleveland adopted the name Cleveland Indians in honor of Sockalexis.

Andrew Sockalexis, Louis's second cousin, took 2nd place in the Boston Marathon in both 1912 and 1913 and was the 4th place finisher representing the United States in the marathon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.

About the Author – Ed Rice:

Born in Brookline, Mass., Ed Rice grew up in Bangor, Maine and graduated from Bangor High School in 1966. He holds a B.A. from Northeastern University and an M.Ed. from the University of Southern Maine. Rice has taught journalism and communication studies at the University of Maine at Orono and Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.

He has also taught high school English and coached cross country. In February of 2000 he wrote the biographical profile of Louis Sockalexis which annually appears in the Cleveland Indians Media Guide and on the team's web site pages.

Rice also spearheaded the nomination drive that led to the induction of both Louis and Andrew Sockalexis into the national American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in Lawrence, Kansas in April of 2000. His nomination, as well, led to the induction of Andrew Sockalexis, second cousin of Louis, into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 1990.