July 18, 2010

Ethier is part Cherokee

Hard work pays off for Andre Ethier

By Wesley MahanMany people probably didn’t realize it, but a Cherokee played in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game July 13 in Anaheim, Calif., when Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier started in center field for the National League.

Ethier traces his Cherokee heritage through his father’s family. His father Byron, of Glendale, Ariz., is a CN citizen who traces his tribal lineage to Dawes Roll enrollee Nancy Downing, a full blood.

“My grandmother, of course, who is the Cherokee side, grew up there in Oklahoma,” the 28-year-old in a phone interview said. “She was born and raised early in life in Arkansas. They moved to Peggs in Oklahoma, right outside of Tahlequah.”

Ethier said he remembers visiting Peggs as a youth and being introduced to Cherokee culture.

“When I was younger, when my great grandmother, my grandmother’s mother, was still alive she was a big influence. She would tell stories about the Cherokee Indian side,” he said. “I can remember going back to Peggs and hanging out with family and talking to them. I still have quite a few family members that still live there in eastern and southeastern Oklahoma.”
Comment:  For more on Native baseball players, see 3rd Indian Baseball Player in Majors, Chamberlain Pleads Guilty to DUI, and Ellsbury Blogs About Losing.

Below:  "Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier follows through on a swing against the Chicago Cubs July 11 in Los Angeles." (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

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