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Thelma, Norma, and Valerie Tarbell, all from Akwesasne, have baseball in their blood.
Thelma, Norma, and Valerie Tarbell, all from Akwesasne, have baseball in their blood.

Native Americans in baseball's past & present

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Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day, the anniversary of the day an African-American finally broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Latino players celebrate their heritage in September with Roberto Clemente Day. But there's no Jim Thorpe Day, or Charles Bender Day, two celebrated ball players who were Native American. Native Americans have played baseball almost as long as the sport's existed. Akwesasne once had its own semi-pro team. A new exhibit at the Iroquois Museum, south of Albany, highlights the role of America's first people in America's pastime. David Sommerstein reports.

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The Carlisle Indian School baseball team.  [courtesy Iroquois Museum]

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