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Ted Page

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Theodore Roosevelt Page (Terrible Ted)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.

Ted Page grew up in Youngstown, OH and had a football scholarship at Ohio State University but turned it down to focus on baseball. He signed with the Toledo Tigers in 1923 but was released and spent most of the next five years with semi-pro teams to hone his skills. He had a shot with the 1926 Newark Stars and was the club's regular center fielder but the team folded in mid-July; Page had gone hitless in Eastern Colored League competition.

In 1929, he caught on with the Brooklyn Royal Giants and hit .346 for them at age 27 the next year. Page moved to the Homestead Grays and hit .344 for that club in 1931, a productive hitter on a club with four future Hall-of-Famers. Page was fourth among eastern black teams in average trailing two future Cooperstown denizens (Biz Mackey and Jud Wilson) and offensive wizard John Beckwith. Known for his aggressive play on the field and willingness to spike opponents, Page ran into trouble with a teammate in '31. He got into a dispute with Tubby Scales, his roommate, and knocked out two of Tubby's teeth. Scales pulled a knife; thankfully, pitcher George Britt intervened. Scales and Page spent the night up in bed, each with a weapon at hand (Scales had his knife and Page a gun). He was 5 for 6 in an exhibition game against George Uhle and Dutch Henry that year but the effort by the white team was questioned.

1932 had Page leaving Homestead to join the new New York Black Yankees, hitting third and playing left. The speedy outfielder batted .341 before moving during the year to the Pittsburgh Crawfords, where he hit just .237. While with the Crawfords, Ted served as a lookout for Gus Greenlee's numbers business. Pittsburgh played an exhibition series in September and October against a white team whose pitching staff consisted of Larry French, Bill Swift, Fred Frankhouse and Roy Parmelee. Page hit .400 (12 for 30) in games that have been accounted for. At age 30, Ted hit .321 his second year in Pittsburgh and was tied for fourth in the Negro National League with seven triples. He was a backup for the East in the first East-West Game ever, but did not play and would never appear in one of those All-Star competitions.

In 1934, Page saw limited playing time and lost his speed when he hurt his knee sliding into a base in Jackson, MS. Pittsburgh released Page but he was signed by Newark in 1935; he was only there a short while before he found a new home with the Philadelphia Stars. He hit .333 for the Stars that year, second to Jake Dunn on the club. He was 2 for 10 against a Dizzy Dean touring team that fall.

1936 was not a productive year as the veteran hit .247. He finished his career in '37 by batting .246 for the Stars.

After retiring from baseball, Page was employed by former teammate Jack Marshall, who was running a bowling alley. Ted later would become the owner of the alley. He wrote a column about bowling for many years in a newspaper, becoming active in the sport.

Page suffered a grisly death on December 1, 1984, when a burglar beat him to death using a baseball bat.

Sources: The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester

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