“If everything depended on one game, I just used Albert – the greatest money pitcher of all time.”
Connie Mack’s assessment was right on the money. Charles Albert “Chief” Bender finished his long career with a .625 winning percentage and helped pitch Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics become a tour de force in the American League during the first part of the 20th century.
Our RMY Auctions’ Photo of the Day is a newly discovered image of the Hall of Fame pitcher. It’s part of the company’s January Collector’s Auction, featuring more than 300 historic images up for bid through January 18. The rectangular photo, bearing numerous grease pencil marks on the back from its use during times when Bender was making news, sat in a newspaper archive for more than a century. It is quite possibly one of a kind.
Bender is pictured at age 30, a season that saw him finish with a 17-3 record and 2.26 ERA. He led the A’s to a fourth pennant that season but it would be his last year playing for Mack’s club. The Federal League was offering big money and Bender jumped to the Baltimore Terrapins just months after this image was taken. He’d finish his career with the Phillies, having won 212 games and completing nine of his ten World Series starts.
Bender’s Native American heritage made him the subject of some taunting from fans and opposing players in a far less sensitive era. Bender took the insults in stride, often with a sense of humor.
Dozens of Hall of Famers from various sports and other historic subjects and events are featured in the collection of photos at auction. Bidding is now underway at RMYAuctions.com.