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Should Yoenis Cespedes be an option for the Twins?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:31 AM
Rumors coming out of Boston now are that not only is he not crazy about re-signing there, but that Boston may now be thinking of moving h...
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Article: Postseason Review: Ricky Nolasco

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:31 AM
Last year, Ricky Nolasco signed what is easily the largest free agent contract ever for the Twins. While not every Twins fan was happy, t...
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Article: Twins Organizational Depth Chart: First Base

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:31 AM
After what seems like such a long delay, the World Series begins with Game 1 tonight. When the Series is complete, players that are eligi...
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Article: Want to ask Twins President Dave St. Peter a que...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:31 AM
Do you have a question for Twins President Dave St. Peter that you have wanted answered? A topic he should address? Now is your opportuni...
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Article: Powering Up The Bullpen

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:31 AM
There are only so many worthwhile takeaways to be gleaned from an examination of the Kansas City Royals' incredible postseason run up to...
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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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