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Article: Twins in Arizona

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:22 AM
On Thursday afternoon, MLB announced its 2014 Arizona Fall League rosters. Six Minnesota Twins were announced as members of the Salt Rive...
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Who Has the Advantage?

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:22 AM
Which prospect has the advantage?   1) The prospect who is promoted Mid season or  at the End of season. This prospect has an o...
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Article: Only One Spot to Address for 2015?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:22 AM
At a glance, the title of this article might seem a little outrageous. How could one suggest that a team on track for 90 losses needs so...
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Communication Breakdown?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:22 AM
Postgame Twinsights: What happened on that Mike Moustakas shift?   The Rashomon Effect refers to the famous Akira Kurosawa movie and...
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Game Thread: Twins @ Royals, 8/27 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:35 AM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature around 80. TWINS: SP, Hughes Santana CF D...
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The Birthday of Charles Albert "Chief" Bender, Minnesota's First Hall of Famer

Attached Image: jul08_chief_benders_250.jpg Before there was a Winfield, a Molitor, or a Mauer, there was a Bender.

Charles Albert "Chief" Bender was born in Crow Wing County on May 5th, 1884. He bounced between his home on the White Earth Reservation, and various boarding schools. At a teenager, Bender was recruited by the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle Pennsylvania, the first of many off-reservation boarding schools. Carlisle is perhaps most known for it's resident coach, Pop Warner, and his star player, Jim Thorpe.

Bender attended Dickinson College, also in Carlisle, before turning pro. He pitched for Connie Mack's Philadephia Athletics from 1903 to 1917.

Bender pitched during an era of entrenched prejudice, and open racism. The definitive biography, that chronicles Bender's early years and his big break, was written by Tom Swift. It is aptly titled, Chief Bender's BurdenThe Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star: Chief Bender's Burden - University of Nebraska Press

Swift has a wonderful short biography on Charles "Chief" Bender on the SABR website:

Chief Bender | SABR

A nugget from Swift's bio: "Bender is known foremost for a rare ability to pitch under pressure. 'If I had all the men I’ve ever handled, and they were in their prime, and there was one game I wanted to win above all others,' said Philadelphia Athletics icon Connie Mack, who managed fellow all-time pitching greats Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank, and Rube Waddell, 'Albert would be my man.'"

Albert Bender is also credited by some as inventing the slider. He won 212 games over his Hall of Fame career.

Again, from Swift's biography: "Bender’s life partner was Marie (Clement) Bender, whom he married in 1904. The couple’s marriage, which lasted nearly 50 years, did not produce any children. In 1953, Bender became the first Minnesota-born player enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and he remained the only one until Dave Winfield joined him in 2001. On May 22, 1954, the year following the vote, Bender died, a few weeks shy of his 71st birthday and a few weeks before his induction ceremony."


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