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Satchel Paige

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Leroy Robert Paige

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 180 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1971

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." - an oft-quoted saying by Satchel Paige
". . . the best and fastest pitcher I've ever faced." - Joe DiMaggio

Satchel Paige was a great Negro League pitcher who was still effective when he came to the white major leagues in his 40's. Some of his quotes became quite famous.

It was common, during his career in the white majors, for observers to speculate about his age. The official Paige site (www.satchelpaige.com) thinks he was born in 1905, but during his lifetime all manner of dates were guessed. Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians when Satchel debuted, attempted to research his birthdate and concluded that he must have been born before 1900 (as written in Veeck as in Wreck). Satchel stoked the flames himself, by saying various things about his age:

"I was born in August - no, July - 1908."
"I've said it once and I'll say it a hundred times, I'm forty-four years old."

His baseball career started in semi-pro ball in 1924. He came to the Negro Leagues in 1927, and although he pitched for many teams over a long career, his time with the Kansas City Monarchs is most famous.

He came to the white major leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 1948, and pitched from 1948 top 1953, mostly with a good ERAs, with 1950 spent in the minors. As a "rookie" in 1948, he went 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA, and had an ERA of 0.00 in 2/3 inning in the 1948 World Series, which the Indians won. Much later, in 1965, he came back to pitch three more innings in the majors, at an age that was close to 60, and he gave up no runs and only one hit. He was the last major league player to play while older than the sitting US President - Lyndon B. Johnson.

Paige, in addition to being a fastballer with incredible speed, was also a showman and storyteller.

Paige was an Atlanta Braves coach in 1968 and 1969.

His first Baseball Card appearance was in the 1949 Bowman set.

"Satchel Paige is the best pitcher I ever saw. I hit against Feller in his prime, but Paige ... he was just fast. Just straight overhand. He'd lift that leg and show down on you." - Monte Irvin

[edit] Famous Feats

  • Paige was the first African-American to pitch in a World Series game. He pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief for Cleveland in Game 5 of the 1948 World Series. The Indians' pitching had been dominant up until that point, as they got complete games from their starters in each of the first four games. However, the Braves battered Bob Feller and scored six times in the 7th inning of Game 5. Only Paige could stop the bleeding and end the inning, in a game the Indians went on to lose 11-5.
  • Paige was perhaps the greatest pitcher in the history of the California Winter League. He holds the records for wins (56), strikeouts (766, more than the next two combined - Bullet Joe Rogan and Walter Johnson, games (80) and shutouts (17, 5 more than Johnson). He was tied for second in complete games (47, 5 behind Rogan) and third in winning percentage (.889, behind Willie Foster and Schoolboy Griffith, just ahead of Johnson).
  • Paige pitched two no-hitters, both for the Pittsburgh Crawfords. In his second no-hitter in on July 4 1934, Paige struck out 17 men, establishing the all-time Negro Leagues record, and matching what was then the white Major League record for a single game. Four days later, Paige was on the other end of a no-hitter, to Sug Cornelius and the Chicago American Giants, but he pitched shutout ball and beat the American Giants 3-0 in 10 innings.
  • During some time away from baseball, he appeared in the 1959 movie "The Wonderful Country".

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Career Pitching Statistics

[edit] Negro Leagues

Year Team League W L SV Pct G GS CG ShO IP H R ER BB SO ERA
.
1927 Birmingham Black Barons NNL 7 1 1 .875 18 9 5 2 89.3 69 33 21 26 69 2.12
1928 Birmingham Black Barons NNL 12 5 4 .706 26 16 11 2 134.3 109 44 30 21 112 2.01
1929 Birmingham Black Barons NNL 10 9 2 .526 30 19 15 0 188.3 188 103 78 31 176 3.73
1930 Baltimore Black Sox
Birmingham Black Barons
independent
NNL
3
7
1
4
0
1
.750
.636
4
14
4
10
3
9
1
2
31.0
96.3
35
74
12
35
8
28
6
9
17
69
2.32
2.62
1931 Cleveland Cubs
Pittsburgh Crawfords
NNL
independent
1
0
2
1
0
0
.333
.000
6
1
4
1
1
1
1
0
32.7
8.0
26
5
12
3
9
2
4
1
18
0
2.48
2.25
1932 Pittsburgh Crawfords independent 10 4 2 .714 22 16 12 4 132.7 92 47 25 35 92 1.70
1933 Pittsburgh Crawfords NNL 5 7 0 .417 13 12 8 0 95.0 54 39 20 12 55 1.89
1934 Pittsburgh Crawfords NNL 14 2 0 .875 22 16 15 5 154.0 103 37 24 26 144 1.40
1935 Kansas City Monarchs independent 0 0 0 -- 2 2 1 1 9.0 5 0 0 1 11 0.00
1936 Pittsburgh Crawfords NNL 5 0 0 1.000 7 5 5 1 47.7 41 17 11 9 47 2.08
1937 Trujillo All-Stars independent 0 1 0 .000 2 1 1 0 11.0 16 5 5 1 11 4.09
1938 (Mexican League) (injured arm)
1939 (barnstorming)
1940 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 1 0 0 1.000 2 1 1 0 11.0 6 1 0 0 8 0.00
1941 New York Black Yankees
Kansas City Monarchs
NNL
NAL
1
4
0
0
0
0
1.000
1.000
1
12
1
11
1
2
0
0
9.0
55.0
5
42
3
21
0
10
0
6
8
42
0.00
1.64
1942 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 4 5 0 .444 18 15 5 1 95.0 68 30 19 11 79 1.80
1943 Kansas City Monarchs
Memphis Red Sox
NAL 6
1
8
0
1
0
.429
1.000
23
1
20
1
3
0
0
0
102.0
5.0
90
0
52
0
30
0
22
2
74
7
2.65
0.00
1944 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 4 5 0 .444 14 14 5 2 82.7 51 18 5 13 76 0.54
1945 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 2 4 0 .333 11 9 2 1 51.7 48 29 6 14 54 1.05
1946 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 5 1 0 .833 11 7 2 1 47.0 40 11 6 3 45 1.15
1947 Kansas City Monarchs NAL 1 1 0 .500 3 3 2 1 19.0 7 2 1 0 17 0.47
.
Totals 17 seasons 103 61 11 .628 263 197 110 25 1506.7 1174 554 338 253 1231 2.02
seasonal notation 17 10 2 44 33 19 4 254.7 198 94 57 43 208
  • source: Shades of Glory, Hogan et al., ppg. 406-407

[edit] Further Reading

  • William Price Fox: Satchel Paige's America, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL, 2005.
  • Timothy M. Gay: Satch, Dizzy and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2010.
  • Leslie A. Heaphy, ed.: Satchel Paige and Company: Essays on the Kansas City Monarchs, their Greatest Star and the Negro Leagues, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.
  • Satchel Paige: Maybe I'll Pitch Forever, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1993 (original published in 1962).
  • Donald Spivey: "If You Were Only White": The Life of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO, 2012. ISBN 0826219780
  • Larry Tye: Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, Random House, New York, NY, 2009.

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