American Indian Baseball in Old North County: San Diego Heritage at Riverside’s Sherman Institute

By Tom Willman

This article was published in the 2019 The National Pastime.

The first three decades of the 20th century are generally viewed as the great age of the Native American athlete. Much of that reputation rests on the well-publicized achievements of federal Indian boarding school athletes, such as Chief Bender and Jim Thorpe. California's Sherman Institute, 25th and last in the chain of these Indian schools, provided similar exposure for top American Indian athletes of the West. It also provided a window on how ardently baseball was embraced across this “Mission Indian” country. . . .

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