Because the great pitcher Charles Albert Bender, better known as “Chief Bender,” was a Chippewa Indian, and the fans thought that making the “war whoops” would upset him and make him lose his pitching control.
It didn’t. Bender would just call these fans “foreigners” and keep right on pitching his magical brand of baseball. Bender became one of the most famous baseball players of all time and went on to become elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.
“Chief Bender” started playing with Connie Mack’s legendary Philadelphia Athletics in 1903. He stayed with the great American League team for eleven years, and during that time they won the pennant five times and the World Series three times.
Bender was the league’s leading pitcher, and during the 1910, 1911, and 1914 seasons, he led the league in strikeouts. At the height of his career, this “superstar” never made more than $2,400 a season.