A New Look at the Men of Baseball’s Past- page 5 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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(© Sporting News)

A New Look at the Men of Baseball’s Past

Charles Conlon’s classic photographs of baseball players from the early 20th century offer a glimpse into a familiar sport at an otherworldly time

Charles Albert Bender

Charles Albert Bender
(© Sporting News)
Along with Jim Thorpe and John Meyers, Charles Albert Bender was one of the few Native American baseball players to achieve mainstream success. (Bender and Meyers were saddled with the sobriquet of "Chief.") Bender’s baseball salary never topped $5,000 a year—and he was one of the American League’s top pitchers. “The athletes back then didn’t have bodyguards or PR guys surrounding them,” says Fred Conrad of the New York Times. “The players didn’t make astronomical salaries. And Conlon was there every day. He just lived for baseball at a time when no other sport could compete with it for fan interest.”

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