Academic journal article Nine

Collins, Bender, Chase

Academic journal article Nine

Collins, Bender, Chase

Article excerpt

White Sox playing manager Eddie "Cocky" Collins (left) and pitcher Charles Albert "Chief" Bender reunite for a cameo appearance in Chicago in 1925. Bender was forty-one years old when this picture was taken and had been out of Major League ball since 1917; Collins was thirty-eight and was playing in his twentieth Major League season in a career that would extend to twenty-five years. Both players enjoyed their greatest success with the Philadelphia Athletics during Connie Mack's first dynasty (1910-14), when the A's won four pennants and three world championships.

A Native American, Bender referred to himself as Charles and never as "Chief." Mack always called him Albert and said that of all the pitchers he managed in his half century at the helm of the A's, no one was better at winning a crucial game than Bender. Ty Cobb called Bender the smartest pitcher that he ever faced. Winner of 212 games and with a lifetime ERA of 2.46, he is most remembered for inventing the slider in 1910. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953.

A twenty-five-year Major League career, 3,315 base hits, and a lifetime batting average of .333 guaranteed Collins election to the inaugural group of players to be selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. His defensive statistics were equally impressive. No player has played more games at second base nor has handled more chances or made more assists. …

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