John T. Meyers (called "Chief")
1972 - Baseball - Cahuilla

DATE OF BIRTH: July 29, 1880
DATE OF DEATH:July 25,1971

  • BIRTH PLACE: Riverside (Cahiulla Village), California
  • TRIBE: Cahiulla Band
  • EDUCATION: Riverside High School     Dartmouth College
  • SPORTS DATA: Baseball - Catcher

  • Professional: Major League Baseball Teams
  • New York Giants, 1908 (1911-1913, batted .332, .358 & .312)Brooklyn dodgers, 1916
  • Lifetime major league batting average of .291
  • Held a World Series record for most assists (12) by a catcher in a six game series
  • Earned the title of "Ironman" behind plate during 1911-1913
Semi-pro Manager:
  • New Haven, 1917
  • Out of respect for John T. Meyers as exemplified by the following quote from ‘’, The American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame has left the term ‘Chief’ from his bylines."A Cahuilla Indian from California, Meyers was the New York Giants' star catcher when they won three straight pennants from 1911 to 1913; he batted .332, .358, and .312 in those years. Slowed by catching more than 100 games in six straight seasons (1910-15), he retired at age 37 in 1917. He was booed while managing in a semi-pro game in 1920 and, disgusted, quit baseball. Educated at Dartmouth, he was employed by the Department of the Interior as an Indian supervisor. He scoffed at his nickname, Chief, bestowed on virtually every athlete of Indian ancestry".
COMMENTS: From Baseball Chronology in’
  • September 11, 1909: Christy Mathewson and catcher Chief Meyers are all that the Giants need in the opener against Brooklyn. Matty allows three hits in shutting down the Superbas, and the Chief clubs his first major league homer in the 2nd inning, a grand slam to score all the runs. New York wins, 4-0, beating Elmer Knetzer. The Superbas take the nitecap, 10-1, behind Bugs Raymond. Rookie Zack Wheat has his first two ML hits in the nitecap, after being collared in the opener by Matty.
  • June 10, 1912: In the opener with the Giants, the Cubs top the league leaders, 9-8, despite New York's Chief Meyers hitting for the cycle. The Chief is the first ML catcher to cycle. Heinie Zimmerman answers with two homers for Chicago.
COMMENTS: From ‘Legends of the Game’ (
  • "Chief's .291 career batting average was the highest for catchers playing during this 'dead ball' era. He was the battery mate of HOF legend, Christy Mathewson on the powerhouse, NY Giants. Meyers was also roomed with a teammate considered the greatest athlete of the first 50 years of the 20th century, Jim Thorpe. During the 1911 World Series Classic, Chief established a series record by throwing out 12 runners in 6 games."