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Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige

Born: July 7, 1906(1906-07-07)
Mobile, Alabama
Died: June 8, 1982 (aged 75)
Kansas City, Missouri
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
July 9, 1948 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1965 for the Kansas City Athletics
Career statistics
Win-Loss*     28–31
Earned run average*     3.29
Strikeouts*     288
* - MLB statistics
Negro leagues (partial list)
Major League Baseball
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1971
Election Method     Negro League Committee

Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, the first player to be inducted from the Negro leagues.

Paige was a right-handed pitcher and was the oldest rookie to play Major League Baseball at the age of 42. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47 and represented them in the Major League All-Star Game in both 1952 and 1953. His professional playing career lasted from 1926 until 1966.[1]


Date of birth

While Paige was playing baseball, many ages and birthdates, ranging from 1900 to 1908, were reported. Paige himself was the source of many of these dates. His actual birthdate, July 7, 1906, however, has been known since 1948 when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck traveled to Mobile, Alabama and went with Paige's family to the County Health Department to obtain his birth certificate.[2] Paige's birth certificate is displayed in his autobiography.[3]

In 1959, Paige's mother told a reporter that he was 55 rather than 53, saying she knew this because she wrote it down in her Bible. Paige wrote in his autobiography, "Seems like Mom's Bible would know, but she ain't ever shown me the Bible. Anyway, she was in her nineties when she told the reporter that and sometimes she tended to forget things."[4]

Early life

Satchel was born Leroy Robert Page to John Page, a gardener, and Lula Page (née Coleman), a domestic worker, in a section of Mobile, Alabama known as Down the Bay.[5] Lula and her children changed the spelling of their name from Page to Paige in the mid-1920s just before the start of Satchel's baseball career. Lula said, "Page looked too much like a page in a book," while Satchel explained, "My folks started out by spelling their name 'Page' and later stuck in the 'i' to make themselves sound more high-tone." The introduction of the new spelling coincided with the death of Satchel's father, and may have suggested a desire for a new start.[6]

According to Paige, his nickname originated from childhood work toting bags at the train station. He said he wasn't making enough money at a dime a bag, so he used a pole and rope to build a contraption that allowed him to cart two to four bags at once. Another kid supposedly yelled, "You look like a walking satchel tree."[7] A different story was told by boyhood friend and neighbor, Wilber Hines, who said he gave Paige the nickname after he was caught trying to steal a bag.[8]

Two weeks before his twelfth birthday, Paige was arrested for shoplifting. Because this incident followed several earlier incidents of theft and truancy, he was committed to the state reform school, the Industrial School for Negro Children in Mount Meigs, Alabama, until the age of eighteen. During more than five years he spent at the Industrial School, he developed his pitching skills under the guidance of Edward Byrd. Byrd taught Paige to kick his front foot high and to swing his arm around so it looked like his hand was in the batter's face when he released the ball. Paige was released from the reform school in December 1923, six months early.[9]

After his release, Paige played for several Mobile semi-pro teams. He joined the semi-pro Mobile Tigers where his brother Wilson was already pitching.[10] He also pitched for a semi-pro team named the Down the Bay Boys, and he recalled that he once got into a jam in the ninth inning of a 1–0 ballgame when his teammates made three consecutive errors, loading the bases for the other team with two outs. Angry, Paige said he stomped around the mound, kicking up dirt. The fans started booing him, so he decided that “somebody was going to have to be showed up for that.” He called in his outfielders and had them sit down in the infield. With the fans and his own teammates howling, Paige struck out the final batter, winning the game.[11]

Negro leagues

Chattanooga and Birmingham: 1926–29

A former friend from the Mobile slums, Alex Herman, was the player/manager for the Chattanooga White Sox of the minor Negro Southern League. In 1926 he discovered Paige and offered to pay him $250 per month, of which Paige would collect $50 with the rest going to his mother. He also agreed to pay Lula Paige a $200 advance, and she agreed to the contract.[12]

The local newspapers—the Chattanooga News and Chattanooga Times—recognized from the beginning that Paige was special. In April 1926, shortly after his arrival, he recorded nine strikeouts over six innings against the Atlanta Black Crackers.[13] Partway through the 1927 season, Paige's contract was sold to the Birmingham Black Barons of the major Negro National League (NNL). According to Paige's first memoir, his contract was for $450 per month, but in his second he said it was for $275.[14]

Pitching for the Black Barons, Paige threw hard but was wild and awkward. In his first big game in late June 1927, against the St. Louis Stars, Paige incited a brawl when his fastball hit the hand of St. Louis catcher Mitchell Murray. Murray then charged the mound and Paige raced for the dugout, but Murray flung his bat and struck Paige above the hip. The police were summoned, and the headline of the Birmingham Reporter proclaimed a "Near Riot."[15] Paige improved and matured as a pitcher with help from his teammates, Sam Streeter and Harry Salmon, and his manager, Bill Gatewood.[16] He finished the 1927 season 7–1 with 69 strikeouts and 26 walks in 89 1/3 innings.[17]

Over the next two seasons, Paige went 12–5 and 10–9 while recording 176 strikeouts in 1929.[17] (Several sources credit his 1929 strikeout total as the all-time single-season record for the Negro leagues, though there is variation among the sources about the exact number of strikeouts.[18]) On April 29th of that season he recorded 17 strikeouts in a game against the Cuban Stars, which exceeded what was then the major league record of 16 held by Noodles Hahn and Rube Waddell. Six days later he struck out 18 Nashville Elite Giants, a number that was tied in the white majors by Bob Feller in 1938.[19] Due to his increased earning potential, Barons owner R. T. Jackson would “rent” Paige out to other ball clubs for a game or two to draw a decent crowd, with both Jackson and Paige taking a cut.[20]

Cuba, Baltimore, and Cleveland: 1929–31

Abel Linares offered Paige $100 per game to play winter ball for the Santa Clara team in the Cuban League. Gambling on baseball games in Cuba was such a huge pastime that players were not allowed to drink alcohol, so they could stay ready to play. Paige—homesick for carousing, hating the food, despising the constant inspections and being thoroughly baffled by the language—went 6–5 in Cuba.[21] He left Cuba abruptly before the end of the season, with several stories told about the circumstances. Paige told one version in which the mayor of a small hamlet asked him, in Spanish if he had intentionally lost a particular game. Paige, not understanding a word the man said, nodded and smiled, thinking the man was fawning over him, and then had to flee from the furious mayor.[22] Another version, also told by Paige, says that when he called on an attractive local girl at her home, she and her family interpreted his attentions as an official engagement and sent the police to enforce it, leading Paige to flee the island with police in pursuit.[23] A third version, told by the general manager of the Santa Clara Leopards, says that he left Cuba in haste after legal charges were brought against him regarding an amorous incident with "a young lady from the provincial mulatto bourgeoisie."[24]

When Paige returned to the United States, he and Jackson revived their practice of renting him out to various teams. In the spring of 1930, Jackson leased him to the Baltimore Black Sox, who had won the 1929 American Negro League championship led by their bowlegged third baseman Jud “Boojum” Wilson. Paige, as a Southerner, found that he was an outsider on the Black Sox, and his teammates considered him a hick. Moreover, he was the team's number two pitcher behind Lamon Yokely, and Paige did not like being overshadowed.[25]

In mid-summer Paige returned to Birmingham, where he pitched well the rest of the summer, going 7–4.[17] In September he was leased to the Chicago American Giants of the NNL for a home-and-home series with the Houston Black Buffaloes of the Texas-Oklahoma League. Paige won one and lost one in the series and then returned to Birmingham.[26]

By the spring of 1931, the Depression was taking its toll on the Negro leagues, and the Black Barons had temporarily disbanded. Few teams could afford Paige, but Tom Wilson, who was moving the Nashville Elite Giants to Cleveland as the Cleveland Cubs, thought he could.[27] Playing in the same city as a white major league team, Paige recalled, "I'd look over at the Cleveland Indians' stadium, called League Park...All season long it burned me, playing there in the shadow of that stadium. It didn't hurt my pitching, but it sure didn't do me any good."[28]

Pittsburgh, California, and North Dakota: 1931–36

In June 1931, the Crawford Colored Giants, an independent club owned by Pittsburgh underworld figure Gus Greenlee, made Paige an offer of $250 a month.[29] On August 6, Paige made his Crawford debut against their hometown rivals, the Homestead Grays. Coming in in the fourth inning, Paige held the Grays scoreless and had six strikeouts and no walks in five innings of relief work to get the win.[30]

In September, Paige joined a Negro all-star team organized by Tom Wilson, called the Philadelphia Giants, to play in the California Winter League. This was the first of nine winters that he played in a league that provided ongoing competition between elite black and white baseball players, including major and minor league players. On October 24 Paige won his first California game 8–1, allowing five hits and striking out 11, including Babe Herman four times. He finished the winter with a 6–0 record and 70 strikeouts in 58 innings.[31]

In 1932, Greenlee signed Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston and Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe away from Cum Posey's Homestead Grays to assemble one of the finest baseball clubs in history. Paige took the mound when the Crawfords opened the season on April 30 in their newly built stadium, Greenlee Field, the first completely black-owned stadium in the country. Paige lost the opener to the New York Black Yankees in a pitching duel with Jesse "Mountain" Hubbard, but got even with them by beating them twice that season, including Paige’s first Negro league no-hitter in July.[32] Paige went 10–4, allowing 3.19 runs per game and striking out 92 in 132 2/3 innings.[17]

In the midst of the Depression, Cum Posey's new East-West League had collapsed by mid-season, and Greenlee was able to obtain many of the best players in black baseball. By the end of the season, Greenlee had signed to contracts Cool Papa Bell, John Henry Russell, Leroy Matlock, Jake Stephens, "Boojum" Wilson, Jimmie Crutchfield, Ted Page, Judy Johnson and Rap Dixon.[33] With the Crawfords playing five future Hall of Famers, many Negro league historians regard the 1930s Crawfords as the greatest team in Negro league history.[34]

The next season Greenlee organized a new Negro National League, which survived for 16 years. Despite Greenlee's efforts to control his biggest star, Paige followed his own schedule and was often late to games that he was scheduled to pitch. In August, he jumped the Crawfords, accepting an offer from Neil Churchill’s North Dakota semi-pro team, the Bismarcks (sometimes known as the "Bismarck Churchills" today), of $400 and a late model car for just one month’s work. It was Paige's first experience playing with an integrated team in the United States. He helped Bismarck beat their local rivals in Jamestown, who were also featuring a Negro league ace pitcher, Barney Brown. Paige was unapologetic when he returned to Pittsburgh in September to help the Crawfords win the second-half championship. Paige was snubbed by other Negro League players and fans when he was not selected for the first ever East-West All-Star Game.[35]

1934 was perhaps the best season of Paige's career, as he went 14–2 in league games while allowing 2.16 runs per game, recording 144 strikeouts, and giving up only 26 walks.[36][17] On July 4, Paige threw his second no-hitter, this time against the Homestead Grays. He struck out 17, and only a first inning walk to future Hall of Famer Buck Leonard and an error in the fourth inning prevented it from being a perfect game. Leonard, unnerved by the rising swoop of the ball, repeatedly asked the umpire to check the ball for scuffing. When the umpire removed one ball from play, Paige hollered, "You may as well thrown 'em all out 'cause they're all gonna jump like that."[37]

The The Denver Post conducted an annual baseball tournament (sometimes known as the "Little World Series") that attracted semi-pro and independent professional teams from across the country. In 1934 it was open, for the first time, to African American players. Greenlee leased Paige to the Colored House of David, a prominent barnstorming team of white men who represented a religious commune and wore beards. Their manager was Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. Paige pitched shutouts in his first two starts, striking out 14 and 18. The final, championship game was his third start in five days and he faced the Kansas City Monarchs—at the time an independent, barnstorming team—who were participating in the tournament with a lineup augmented by Negro league stars Turkey Stearnes and Sam Bankhead. Paige faced Chet Brewer before a crowd of 11,120. Paige won the pitchers' duel 2–1, striking out 12 Monarchs for a tournament total of 44 strikeouts in 28 innings. The 1934 tournament was Paige's first major exposure in front of the white press.[38]

Paige received his first East–West All Star Game selection in 1934. Playing for the East, Paige came in during the sixth inning with a man on second and the score tied 0–0, and proceeded to strike out Alec Radcliffe and retire Turkey Stearnes and Mule Suttles on soft fly balls. The East scored one run in the top of the eighth and Paige held the West scoreless the rest of the way, giving him his first All-Star Game victory.[39]

Despite an outstanding season, Paige had a strong competitor for best Negro league pitcher of 1934, the 21-year old Slim Jones of the Philadelphia Stars, who went 22–3 in league games. In September, a four-team charity benefit doubleheader was played at Yankee Stadium, with the second game featuring a faceoff between Paige and Jones. Paige recalled driving all night from Pittsburgh and parking near the stadium, then falling asleep in the car. A batboy found and woke him, and he got into uniform just in time for his scheduled start. In a game that was sometimes described as the greatest game in Negro league history, Paige and Jones battled to a 1–1 tie that was called because of darkness.[40] A rematch was scheduled, and this time Paige and the Crawfords beat Jones and the Stars 3–1.[41]

That fall, Paige faced off against major league star Dizzy Dean, who that season had won 30 regular season games plus two more in the World Series, in several exhibition games. In Cleveland, Paige struck out 13 while beating Dean 4–1, although for that game Dean was playing with a minor league team. Later, while playing in the California Winter League, Paige faced Dean in front of 18,000 fans in Los Angeles, with Dean's team including major league stars like Wally Berger. The two teams battled for thirteen innings, with Paige's team finally winning 1–0.[42] Bill Veeck, future owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox, was watchng the game and many years later described it as "the greatest pitchers' battle I have ever seen."[43] Paige and Dean would continue to barnstorm against each other until 1945.[44] Later, when Dean was a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune, he called Paige "the pitcher with the greatest stuff I ever saw."[45]

In the spring of 1935, Greenlee refused Paige's request to raise his $250 per month salary, so Paige decided to return to Bismarck for the same $400 per month and late model used car that he got before. Churchill added other Negro league players to the team—pitchers Barney Morris, and Hilton Smith, catcher Quincy Trouppe, and pitcher/cather Double Duty Radcliffe. Paige dominated the competition, with a 29–2 record, 321 strikeouts, and only 16 walks. In Wichita, Ray "Hap" Dumont was establishing a new national baseball tournament, the National Baseball Congress. Dumont invited 32 semi-pro teams, paying $1,000 for Paige and his Bismarck teammates to attend. The tournament was held at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas and offered a $7,000 purse. Churchill added yet another Negro league star to his team—Chet Brewer, the Kansas City Monarchs' ace pitcher. Bismarck swept the tournament in seven straight games. Paige won the four games he started, pitched in relief in a fifth game, and struck out 60 batters—a record that still held 74 years later.[46][47][48]

In September, Paige could not return to the NNL because he was banned from the league for the 1935 season for jumping to the Bismarck team. J. L. Wilkinson, owner of the independent Kansas City Monarchs, signed Paige on a game-by-game basis through the end of the season.[49]

That winter, a northern California promoter, Johnny Burton, hired Paige to front a team called the "Satchel Paige All-Stars," in a game to be held on February 7, 1936 in Oakland against a white all-star squad. The opposing team included a number of major league players out of the Bay Area, including Ernie Lombardi, Augie Galan, Cookie Lavagetto, and Gus Suhr, as well as Pacific Coast League star Joe DiMaggio, who was making his last stop as a minor leaguer before joining the New York Yankees. Other than Negro league catcher, Ebel Brooks, Paige's team was composed of local semi-pro players. Despite the imbalance in talent, Paige kept the game to a 1–1 tie through nine innings, striking out 12 and giving up one run on three hits. In the bottom of the tenth inning, he struck out two more, then gave up a single to Dick Bartell, bringing up DiMaggio. Bartell stole second on the first pitch, then went to third on a wild pitch. DiMaggio then hit a hard hopper to the mound that Paige deflected; DiMaggio beat the second baseman's throw to drive in the winning run. A Yankee scout watching the game wired the club that day a report that read, "DiMaggio everything we'd hoped he'd be: Hit Satch one for four."[50] DiMaggio later said that Paige was the best pitcher he had ever faced.[51]

In 1936, Paige returned to Pittsburgh where Greenlee acquiesced to Paige’s salary demands and gave him a $600-per-month contract, by far the highest in the Negro Leagues.[52] In games for which complete box scores are available, Paige went 5–0, allowed 3.21 runs per game, and struck out 47 in 47 2/3 innings.[17] At the end of the season, Tom Wilson arranged with the other NNL owners to assemble an all-star team that would enter the lucrative Denver Post tournament. The team included Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, Leroy Matlock, Buck Leonard, Felton Snow, Bill Wright and Sammy Hughes. They swept the tournament in seven straght games to win the $5,000 prize, with Paige winning three of them. In the title game against an overmatched semi-pro team from Borger, Texas, Paige pitched a 7–0 shutout, striking out 18. The Negro league all-stars then barnstormed, playing a series against a team of major leaguers led by Rogers Hornsby. One matchup featured Paige facting the 17-year-old Bob Feller, who had just finished a half season with the Cleveland Indians. Each pitched three innings and gave up one hit, with Feller striking out eight and Paige seven. Later in the game, the Negro league team pulled out a win.[53]

Dominican Republic: 1937

In the spring of 1937 the Crawfords were training in New Orleans, and Paige was approached by Dr. José Enrique Aybar, dean of the University of Santo Domingo, deputy of the Dominican Republic’s national congress and director of Los Dragones, a baseball team operated by Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic. Aybar hired Paige to act as an agent for Trujillo in recruiting other Negro League players to play for Los Dragones. Aybar gave Paige $30,000 to hire as many players as he could. Paige recruited five of his Crawfords teammates—Cool Papa Bell, Leroy Matlock, Sam Bankhead, Harry Williams and Herman Andrews—as well as Josh Gibson, who had recently been traded to the Homestead Grays. Other Dominican teams were also recruiting Negro league players. Greenlee and his fellow owners banned Paige and the other jumpers from the organized Negro leagues, but failed to dissuade the players.[54]

In the Dominican Republic, the American players were shadowed by armed guards. Although the purpose of the guards was to protect the players, the players were fearful that Trujillo would unleash them in anger if his team lost the championship. The season ended with an eight game series between the two top teams, Paige's Dragones of "Ciudad Trujillo" (as Trujillo had renamed the capital city of Santo Domingo) and the Águilas Cibaeñas of Santiago. The Dragones won the first four, with Paige contributing two of them. The Águilas came back to win the next two and still had a chance to win the championship if they won the final two games.[55] In Paige's memoirs, he recalled finishing the game with two shutout innings to hold onto a 6–5 win while soldiers looked on "like a firing squad."[56] In reality, however, Paige didn't enter the game until there was one out in the ninth inning, with his team leading 8–3. He proceeded to give up three runs on three hits before he got the third out on a great throw by Bankhead.[57] Paige had an excellent season overall, however, leading the league with an 8–2 record.[58]

Having little choice because they were all banned from the NNL, the returning players formed Trujillo’s All-Stars and barnstormed around the Midwest. J. Leslie Wilkinson got around the ban by having promoter Ray Dean schedule House of David games with the All-Stars and then he used his influence to get them entered into the Denver Post tournament. The rift between him and the rest of the players was never more evident than when Paige did not show up for the first six games of the tournament, but did show up for the final, for which the winning pitcher would receive a $1,000 bonus. His team ended up losing to a semi-pro team from Oklahoma. It was a double-elimination tournament—necessitating another game between the same two teams—suspicion persisted that Paige’s teammates threw the game so he would not get the winning pitcher’s bonus.

In 1938, Greenlee, who still held Paige's NNL contract, again made an unsuccessful attempt to sign Paige. Greenlee then sold his contract to the Newark Eagles, but they could not sign him either. Paige instead went to play in the Mexican League.[59]


Jorge Pasquel, a Mexican beer distributor, and his four brothers wanted to compete with the major leagues. Their plan to do that was to hire the best Negro League players who were ignored by the big leagues, then raid big league teams and field integrated clubs in the name of international baseball. With this goal, they hired Paige for an astounding fee of $2,000 per month, not to play for the Pasquels’ Vera Cruz team, but to play for the moribund Club Agrario of Mexico City, to create a rivalry for Club Azules, a powerhouse bunch led by Martín Dihigo. Back in the states, Greenlee, out $5,000, declared Paige “banned forever from baseball.”

Three games into the season, Paige’s arm went dead. He could barely lift his arm, much less pitch. In the final game of the season, Paige was matched up against Dihigo. Paige relied on throwing junkballs while Dihigo was throwing blistering fastballs. Through six innings, Paige threw from every angle from overhead to crossfire, even underhanded. He was able to hit the corners of the plate for strikes and the batters, always wary of his fastball, could not dig in properly and take advantage of his lack of velocity. Finally in the seventh, his arm gave out completely. With the game scoreless, Paige gave up a hit and two walks. Rearing back to throw a fast ball, he uncorked a wild pitch that resulted in a run scoring. He managed to retire the side by going back to throwing junkballs.

Paige was removed for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning, and Agrario tied it up against Dihigo, taking Paige off the hook for the loss. Dihigo ended up winning the game with a two-run homer in the ninth, but the flood gates were open as Negro League players streamed into Mexico, again forsaking their teams. Paige returned to Pittsburgh a broken man.

Kansas City Monarchs

Because Paige had burned a number of bridges behind him in the U.S., only one ballclub owner was willing to give him a chance to play ball again—J.L. Wilkinson of the Monarchs. Wilkinson built a team around Paige called the Travelers, a roving division of the Monarchs.

Managed by Newt Joseph, the team included Big Train Jackson, George Giles and Johnny Marcum, but it was mostly full of Monarch wannabees and has-beens. Paige would get a percentage of the gate receipts for showing up and throwing just a couple of innings, relying on junkballs. On September 22, 1939, in the first game of a double-header against the powerful American Giants, Paige won a 1–0 game, striking out 10 men in the seven innings before the game was called on account of darkness. After pitching non-stop for over a decade, the seven months since his last pitching game in Mexico gave his arm a chance to heal. In the process, Paige became a better pitcher, utilizing control, finesse and even trickery.

Puerto Rico

To get his arm in shape, Paige spent the winter playing for the Guayama Brujos (later Caguas-Guayama) in Puerto Rico where he went 19–3 with a 1.93 ERA and a league high 208 strikeouts. Paige won two games in the playoff finals against the San Juan Senadores (who played in Sixto Escobar Stadium) and won the league’s most valuable player award.[60][61]

Kansas City

Paige returned to the Travelers for the 1940 season. During the latter part of the season, he was promoted to the Monarchs. On September 12, Paige made his debut with the Monarchs against the American Giants. He pitched a five-inning darkness-shortened complete game. The Monarchs won 9–3 and Paige struck out ten.

Paige (left) and Jackie Robinson in the uniform of the Kansas City Monarchs, 1945

Because the Monarchs' season did not begin until July, Paige, with Wilkinson’s permission, bounced between his All-Star team (once named the “Travelers“) and NNL teams that needed him to sell out their parks. The New York Black Yankees were the first team to take advantage of Paige’s rebirth. While pitching for the Black Yankees, Life magazine did a pictorial of him. In 1941, Wilkinson purchased a Douglas DC-3 airplane just to ferry Paige around to his outside appearances.

On August 1, 1941, Paige made his first return to the East–West All Star Game in five years, collecting 305,311 votes, 40,000 more than the next highest player, Buck Leonard. Due to a minor injury to his left arm when he was hit by a pitch on July 23, 1941, he did not start the game, but because of his presence, 50,256 people packed Comiskey Park. Paige came in for the start of the eighth inning when the game was well in hand for the east 8–1. The only hit he gave up was a slow roller to the NNL’s new starting catcher—Josh Gibson was still in Mexico—the Baltimore Elite GiantsRoy Campanella.

On October 5, 1941, Wilkinson booked a game in Sportsman's Park between the Satchel Paige All-Stars and the Bob Feller All-Stars. The Fellers won the game 4–3 with St. Louis Cardinals rookie Stan Musial hitting a Paige fastball over the right field pavilion roof. After the season was over, Paige once again played in the California Winter League, this time he pitched against a team that had Jimmie Foxx and, coming off his .406 season, Ted Williams.

With America’s entrance into World War II, Paige committed himself to pitching in frequent exhibitions to sell war bonds and raise money for war-related charities. One such game was on May 24 at Wrigley Field against the Dizzy Dean All-Stars. The game, which was played to raise money for the Navy Relief Fund, was the first time a colored team ever played at Wrigley. With many of the major league’s best players in the service, including DiMaggio and Ted Williams, Paige, whose income was nearly $40,000, was easily the highest paid athlete in the world.

Integration in baseball

When Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson, a teammate of Paige, Paige realized that it was for the better that he himself was not the first black in major league baseball. Robinson started in the minors, an insult that Paige would not have tolerated. By integrating baseball in the minor leagues first, the white major league players got the chance to “get used to” the idea of playing alongside black players. Understanding that, Paige said in his autobiography that, “Signing Jackie like they did still hurt me deep down. I’d been the guy who’d started all that big talk about letting us in the big time. I’d been the one who’d opened up the major league parks to colored teams. I’d been the one who the white boys wanted to go barnstorming against.” Paige, and all other black players, knew that quibbling about the choice of the first black player in the major leagues would do nothing productive, so, despite his inner feelings, Paige said of Robinson, “He’s the greatest colored player I’ve ever seen.”

After losing two of the first four games of the 1946 Negro League World Series, and not showing up at all for the last three games of the series, Paige and Bob Feller started barnstorming across the United States with their respective All-Star teams. The tour helped revive Paige’s reputation, which had languished since the 1942 Negro League World Series.

Finally, on July 7, 1948, with his Cleveland Indians in a pennant race and in desperate need of pitching, Indians owner Bill Veeck brought Paige in to try out with Indians player/manager Lou Boudreau. On that same day, his 42nd birthday, Paige signed his first major league contract, for $40,000 for the three months remaining in the season, becoming the first Negro pitcher in the American League and the seventh Negro big leaguer overall.[62]

Major Leagues

The Cleveland Indians

On July 9, 1948, Paige became the oldest man ever to debut in the major leagues, at the age of 42 years and two days. With the St. Louis Browns beating the Indians 4–1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Boudreau pulled his starting pitcher, Bob Lemon, and sent Paige in. Paige, not knowing the signs and not wanting to cross his catcher up, did not put too much on his first pitch, which Chuck Stevens lined for a single into left field. Jerry Priddy bunted Stevens over to second. Up next was Whitey Platt, and Paige had had enough. He threw an overhand server for a strike and one sidearm for another strike. Paige then threw his Hesitation Pitch which put Platt in such a funk that he threw his bat forty feet up the third base line. Browns manager Zack Taylor bolted from the dugout to talk to umpire Bill McGowan about the pitch, claiming it was a balk, but McGowan let it stand as a strike. Paige then got Al Zarilla to fly out to end the inning. The next inning, he gave up a leadoff single, but with his catcher having simplified his signals, Paige got the next batter to hit into a double play, followed by a pop fly. Larry Doby pinch hit for Paige the following inning.

Paige got his first big league victory on July 15, 1948, the night after he pitched in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in front of 65,000 people in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. It came at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The Indians were up 5–3 and the bases were loaded in the sixth inning of the second game of a double header. He got Eddie Joost to fly out to end the inning, but gave up two runs the next inning when Ferris Fain doubled and Hank Majeski hit a home run. Paige buckled down and gave up only one more hit the rest of the game, getting five of the next six outs on fly balls. Larry Doby and Ken Keltner hit home runs in the ninth to give the Indians an 8–5 victory.

Longtime Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse once said with amusement that Paige "threw a lot of pitches that were not quite 'legal' and not quite 'illegal'".

American League President Will Harridge eventually ruled the Hesitation Pitch definitely illegal and if thrown again, it would result in a balk. Paige said, “I guess Mr. Harridge did not want me to show up those boys who were young enough to be my sons.”

On August 3, 1948, with the Indians one game behind the Athletics, Boudreau started Paige against the Washington Senators in Cleveland. The 72,562 people that saw the game set a new attendance record for a major league night game. Nervous, Paige walked two of the first three batters and then gave up a triple to Bud Stewart to fall behind 2–0. By the time he came out in the seventh, the Indians were up 4–2 and held on to give him his second victory.

His next start was at Comiskey Park in Chicago. 51,013 people paid to see the game, but many thousands more stormed the turnstiles and crashed into the park, overwhelming the few dozen ticket-takers. Paige went the distance, shutting out the White Sox 5–0, debunking the assumption that nine innings of pitching was now beyond his capabilities.

The Indians were in a heated pennant race on August 20, 1948. Coming into the game against the White Sox, Bob Lemon, Gene Bearden and Sam Zoldak had thrown shutouts to run up a thirty-inning scoreless streak, eleven shy of the big league record. 201,829 people had come to see his last three starts. For this game in Cleveland, 78,382 people came to see Paige, a full 6,000 more people than when he last broke the night attendance record. Paige went the distance, giving up two singles and one double for his second consecutive three hit shutout. At that point in the season, Paige was 5–1 with an astoundingly low 1.33 ERA. He made one appearance in the 1948 World Series. He pitched for two-thirds of an inning in Game Two while the Indians were trailing the Boston Braves, giving up a sacrifice fly to Warren Spahn, got called for a balk and struck out Tommy Holmes. The Indians ended up winning the series in six games.

Paige ended the 1948 season with a 6–1 record with a 2.48 ERA, 2 shutouts, 43 strikeouts, 22 walks and 61 base hits allowed in 72 2/3 innings. There was some discussion of Paige possibly winning the Rookie of the Year Award. While technically a "rookie" to the majors, the 20-plus-year veteran Paige regarded such an idea with disdain and considered rejecting the award if it were to be given. The issue proved moot, as both versions of the award (by Major League Baseball and by The Sporting News) were given to other players.

The year 1949 was not nearly as good for Paige as 1948. He ended the season with a 4–7 record and was 1–3 in his starts with a 3.04 ERA. After the season, with Veeck selling the team to pay for his divorce, the Indians gave Paige his unconditional release.

The St. Louis Browns

Paige, penniless, returned to his barnstorming days after being released from the Indians. In 1950, he signed with the Philadelphia Stars in the Eastern Division of the Negro American League for $800 per game.

When Veeck bought an 80% interest in the St. Louis Browns, the first thing he did was sign Paige. In his first game back in the major leagues, on July 18, 1951, against the Washington Senators, Paige pitched six innings of shutout baseball, but was roughed up in the seventh, giving up three runs. He ended the season with a 3–4 record and a 4.79 ERA.

In 1952, Rogers Hornsby, an alleged former member of the Ku Klux Klan, took over as manager of the Browns. Despite past accusations of racism, Hornsby was less hesitant to use Paige than Boudreau was four years before. Paige was so effective that when Hornsby was fired by Veeck, his successor Marty Marion seemed not to want to risk going more than three games without using Paige in some form. By July 4, with Paige having worked in 25 games, Casey Stengel named him to the American League All-Star team, making him the first black pitcher on an AL All-Star team. The All-Star game was cut short after five innings due to rain and Paige never got in. Stengel resolved to name him to the team the following year. Paige finished the year 12–10 with a 3.07 ERA for a team that lost ninety games.[63]

Stengel kept his word and named Paige to the 1953 All-Star team despite Paige not having a very good year. He got in the game in the eighth inning. First, Paige got Gil Hodges to line out, then after Roy Campanella singled up the middle, Eddie Mathews popped out. He then walked Duke Snider, and Enos Slaughter lined a hit to center to score Campanella. National League pitcher Murry Dickson drove in Snider, but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double. Paige ended the year with a disappointing 3–9 record, but a respectable 3.53 ERA. Paige was released after the season when Veeck once again had to sell the team.

Paige once again returned to his barnstorming days with Abe Saperstein. They formed a baseball version of Saperstein’s Harlem Globetrotters. Paige then joined the real Globetrotters when he joined one of their most popular “reams”—the “baseball routine”. Paige would “pitch” the basketball to Goose Tatum, who would “bat” the ball with his arms, run around the “bases” and slide “home” safely. Paige never actually played on the team, though.[64] Although he was making a decent living, Paige grew tired of the constant travel. His family had grown with the birth of his fourth child and first son, Robert Leroy.

Paige then signed for $300 a month and a percentage of the gate to play for the Monarchs again. Then, on August 14, 1955, Paige signed a contract with the Greensboro Patriots of the Carolina League. He was scheduled to pitch at home three days later against the Philadelphia Phillies farm team, the Reidsville Luckies, but before he could suit up, Phillies farm director Eddie Collins wired George Trautman, president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, to protest Paige’s appearance. Trautman, dealing with the integration of southern baseball against a Jim Crow backdrop, ruled that the signing was invalid, but the Greensboro team reminded him that the Carolina League had already approved the contract. Trautman then ruled that Greensboro could only use Paige in exhibition games. Unfortunately, Greensboro had already scheduled Paige to pitch in a regular season game which was sold out in advance and could not change it to an exhibition. In the end, the game was canceled when Hurricane Diane hit the Carolinas.

Bill Veeck once again came to Paige’s rescue when, after taking control of the Phillies' triple-A farm team, the Miami Marlins of the International League, he signed Paige to a contract for $15,000 and a percentage of the gate. Marlins manager Don Osborn did not want Paige and said that he would only use him in exhibition games. Veeck made a deal with Osborn that he could line up his best nine hitters, rotating them in from their positions in the field, and Veeck agreed to pay ten dollars to any of them who get a clean hit off of Paige. Paige retired all nine and Osborn agreed to make Paige a roster player. In Paige’s first game as a Marlin, he pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout. Osborn, a former minor league pitcher, taught Paige the proper way to throw a curveball, which allowed Paige to tear through the International League. Paige finished the season 11–4 with an ERA of 1.86 with 79 strikeouts and only 28 walks. This time, when Veeck left the team, Paige was allowed to stay on, for two more years.

In 1957, the Marlins finished in sixth place, but Paige had a 10–8 record with 76 strikeouts versus 11 walks and 2.42 ERA. The following year, Osborn was replaced as manager by Kerby Farrell, who was not as forgiving when it came to Paige missing curfews or workouts. He was fined several times throughout the year and finished 10–10, saying that he would not return to Miami the following season.

Paige was in and out of baseball, pitching sporadically, over the next decade.

At the age of 56, in 1961, Paige signed on with the Triple-A Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, pitching twenty-five innings, striking out 19 and giving up 18 earned runs. He failed to record a single decision in his stint with the Beavers.

In 1965, Kansas City Athletics owner Charles O. Finley signed Paige, 59 at the time, for one game. On September 25, against the Boston Red Sox[65], Finley invited several Negro League veterans including Cool Papa Bell to be introduced before the game. Paige was in the bullpen, sitting on a rocking chair, being served coffee by a “nurse” between innings. He started the game by getting Jim Gosger out on a pop foul. The next man, Dalton Jones, reached first and went to second on an infield error, but was thrown out trying to reach third on a pitch in the dirt. Carl Yastrzemski doubled and Tony Conigliaro hit a fly ball to end the inning. The next six batters went down in order, including a strikeout of Bill Monbouquette. In the fourth inning, Paige took the mound, to be removed according to plan by Haywood Sullivan. He walked off to a boisterous ovation despite the small crowd of 9,000. The lights dimmed and, led by the PA announcer, the fans lit matches and cigarette lighters while singing “The Old Gray Mare”.

In 1966, Paige pitched in his last game in organized baseball, getting some measure of revenge when he pitched for the Carolina League’s Peninsula Grays of Hampton, Virginia, against the very same Greensboro Patriots who had been forced to release him before his first pitch back in 1955. Paige gave up two runs in the first, threw a scoreless second and then left, never to return as a player in organized baseball again. (Interestingly, Peninsula used their backup catcher that day, rather than play their regular starter, young Johnny Bench.)

Also in 1966, Paige pitched for the semipro Anchorage Earthquakers, a team that barnstormed through Canada. In 1967, Paige appeared with the Globetrotters in Chicago and lowered himself to play with the Indianapolis Clowns for $1,000 a month.

Post-playing career

After the 1957 season, Paige went to the Mexican state of Durango to appear in a United Artists movie, The Wonderful Country, starring Robert Mitchum and Julie London. Paige played Sgt. Tobe Sutton, a hard-bitten Union army cavalry sergeant of a segregated black unit. He was paid $10,000 to be in it, and the movie became the pride of his life.

Late in 1960, Paige began collaborating with writer David Lipman on his autobiography, which was to be published by Doubleday in April 1962. It was so successful that Doubleday issued three printings.

In 1968, Paige assumed the position of deputy sheriff in Kansas City, with the understanding that he need not bother to actually come to work in the sheriff’s office. The purpose of the charade was to set up Paige with political credentials. Soon after, he was running for a Missouri state assembly seat with the support of the local Democratic club against incumbent Representative Leon Jordan. Candidate Paige never gave a speech, and was never taken seriously. Jordan defeated Paige by the margin of 1870 votes to 382 (83%–17%).[66]

In August 1969, the owner of the Atlanta Braves, William Bartholomay, signed Paige to a contract running through the 1969 season—supposedly as a pitching coach, although it was mainly done so that Paige could gain service time to receive a major league pension. Paige did most of his coaching from his living room in Kansas City.

Bowie Kuhn replaced William Eckert as the Commissioner of Baseball in 1969. In the wake of Ted Williams' 1966 Hall of Fame induction speech urging induction of Negro Leaguers, and on the recommendation of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Kuhn empowered a ten-man committee to sift through hundreds of names and nominate the first group of four Negro League players to go to the Hall of Fame. Because Paige pitched in Greensboro in 1966, he would not have been eligible for enshrinement until 1971, as players have to be out of professional baseball for at least five years before they can be elected. All of the men on the committee agreed that Paige had to be the first Negro League player to get elected, so this gave Kuhn plenty of time to create some sort of Negro League branch in the Hall of Fame. On February 9, 1971, Kuhn announced that Paige would be the first member of the Negro wing of the Hall of Fame. Because many in the press saw the suggestion of a "Negro wing" as separate-but-equal and blasted major league baseball for the idea, by the time that Paige’s induction came around on August 9, Kuhn convinced the owners and the private trust of the Hall of Fame that there should be no separate wing after all. It was decided that all who had been chosen and all who would be chosen would get their plaques in the “regular” section of the Hall of Fame.

Personal life

On October 26, 1934, Paige married his longtime sweetheart Janet Howard. After a few years they separated and she had him served with divorce papers while he was walking onto the field during a game at Wrigley Field. At his court date, on August 4, 1943, Paige’s divorce was finalized with him paying a one time payment of $1,500 plus $300 for attorney’s fees to Janet.

On October 12, 1947 in Hays, Kansas, Paige married his longtime girlfriend Lahoma Brown in a civil ceremony. They started a family and had seven children.

During a power failure on June 8, 1982, Paige died of a heart attack at his home in Kansas City, a month before his 76th birthday. He is buried on Paige Island in the Forest Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in Kansas City.


In an article in Esquire magazine in 1976, sportswriter Harry Stein published an article called the "All Time All-Star Argument Starter", a list of five ethnic baseball teams. Paige, a choice Stein meant more out of sentiment than anything else, was the relief pitcher on his black team.

On May 31, 1981, a made-for-television movie titled Don’t Look Back, starring Louis Gossett Jr. as Paige and Beverly Todd as Lahoma aired. Paige was paid $10,000 for his story and technical advice. In the spring of 1981, Paige was made vice president of the Triple-A Springfield Redbirds of the American Association, but this was in title only. In August, with great difficulty because of health problems, he attended a reunion of Negro League players held in Ashland, Kentucky that paid special tribute to himself and Cool Papa Bell. Attending the reunion were Willie Mays, Buck Leonard, Monte Irvin, Judy Johnson, Chet Brewer, Gene Benson, Bob Feller and Happy Chandler.

Buck O'Neil, a former teammate and longtime friend of Paige, claimed in the 1994 documentary Baseball that Babe Ruth batted against Paige once. According to O'Neil's story, the two men opposed each other in a barnstorming game after the Babe's retirement, and that Ruth hit a 500 foot home run off Paige. O'Neil said that Paige was so awestruck by the shot that he met Ruth at the plate to shake his hand, and later had Ruth sign the ball. However, Paige stated in the 1948 book, Pitchin' Man by Hal Lebovitz, that one of his greatest disappointments was, "I never pitched to Babe Ruth." While the Babe Ruth All-Stars did play exhibition games against Negro leagues teams, there is no documented evidence that Paige and Ruth ever faced each other. In addition, there is no mention of this claim in any of Babe Ruth's autobiographies, which would surely have been worth discussing.

In 1996, Paige was played by Delroy Lindo in the made-for-cable film Soul of the Game, which also starred Mykelti Williamson as Josh Gibson, Blair Underwood as Jackie Robinson, Harvey Williams of Kansas City, as "Cat" Mays, the father of Willie Mays, Edward Herrmann as Branch Rickey and Jerry Hardin as Commissioner Happy Chandler.

In 1999, he ranked Number 19 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

On July 28, 2006, a statue of Satchel Paige was unveiled in Cooper Park, Cooperstown, New York commemorating the contributions of the Negro Leagues to baseball.

Pitch names

  • Hesitation Pitch
  • Bat Dodger
  • Hurry-Up Ball
  • Midnight Rider
  • Four-Day Creeper
  • Nothin’ Ball
  • Bee Ball
  • Jump Ball
  • Trouble Ball
  • The Two-Hump Blooper
  • Long Tom
  • The Barber
  • Little Tom
  • Midnight Creeper
  • The Smokeball
  • The Aspirin

"Rules for Staying Young"

Paige's rules originally appeared in the June 13, 1953 issue of Collier's. The version below is taken from his autobiography Maybe I'll Pitch Forever (as told to David Lipman, 1962):

  1. "Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood."
  2. "If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts."
  3. "Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move."
  4. "Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society—the social ramble ain't restful."
  5. "Avoid running at all times."
  6. "And don't look back—something might be gaining on you."

The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, Brendan C. Boyd & Fred C. Harris, Little Brown & Co, 1973, restates these rules on p. 48, and adds the following:

"Satchel Paige could have been the greatest pitcher in major league history, if he'd been given the chance. Don't look back, America, something might be gaining on you."


Negro leagues

The first official statistics for the Negro leagues were compiled as part of a statistical study sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and supervised by Larry Lester and Dick Clark, in which a research team collected statistics from thousands of boxscores of league-sanctioned games.[67] The first results from this study were the statistics for Negro league Hall of Famers elected prior to 2006, which were published in Shades of Glory by Lawrence D. Hogan. These statistics include the official Negro league statistics for Satchel Paige:

Year Team League W L Pct G CG IP H BB SO RA ERA
1927 Birmingham NNL (first) 7 1 .875 18 5 89.3 69 26 69 3.32 2.12
1928 Birmingham NNL 12 5 .706 26 11 134.3 109 21 112 2.95 2.01
1929 Birmingham NNL 10 9 .526 30 15 188.3 188 31 176 4.92 3.73
1930 Baltimore Independent 3 1 .750 4 3 31.0 35 6 17 3.48 2.32
1930 Birmingham NNL 7 4 .636 14 9 96.3 74 9 69 3.27 2.62
1931 Cleveland NNL 1 2 .333 6 1 32.7 26 4 18 3.31 2.48
1931 Pittsburgh Independent 0 1 .000 1 1 8.0 5 1 0 3.38 2.25
1932 Pittsburgh Independent 10 4 .714 22 12 132.7 92 35 92 3.19 1.70
1933 Pittsburgh p NNL (second) 5 7 .417 13 8 95.0 54 12 55 3.69 1.89
1934 Pittsburgh NNL 14 2 .875 22 15 154.0 103 26 144 2.16 1.40
1935 Kansas City Independent 0 0 .000 2 1 9.0 5 1 11 0.00 0.00
1936 Pittsburgh p NNL 5 0 1.000 7 5 47.7 41 9 47 3.21 2.08
1937 Trujillo All-Stars Independent 0 1 .000 2 1 11.0 16 1 11 4.09 4.09
1940 Kansas City p NAL 1 0 1.000 2 1 11.0 6 0 8 0.82 0.00
1941 Kansas City p NAL 4 0 1.000 12 2 55.0 42 6 42 3.44 1.64
1941 New York NNL 1 0 1.000 1 1 9.0 5 0 8 3.00 0.00
1942 Kansas City c NAL 4 5 .444 18 5 95.0 68 11 79 2.84 1.80
1943 Kansas City NAL 6 8 .429 23 3 102.0 90 22 74 4.59 2.65
1943 Memphis NAL 1 0 1.000 1 0 5.0 0 2 7 0.00 0.00
1944 Kansas City NAL 4 5 .444 14 5 82.7 51 13 76 1.96 0.54
1945 Kansas City NAL 2 4 .333 11 2 51.7 48 14 54 5.05 1.05
1946 Kansas City p NAL 5 1 .833 11 2 47.0 40 3 45 2.11 1.15
1947 Kansas City NAL 1 1 .500 3 2 19.0 7 0 17 0.95 0.47
Total 19 seasons 103 61 .628 263 110 1506.7 1174 253 1231 3.31 2.02
    p = pennant; c = Negro League World Series championship.


North Dakota

Year Team W L Pct CG IP BB SO RA
1933 Bismarck 6 0 1.000 7 72.0 11 119 1.25
1935 Bismarck 29 2 .935 18 229.7 16 321 1.96
Total 2 seasons 35 2 .946 25 301.7 27 440 1.79


Note: Compiled by Tye from newspaper clippings; some clipping did not include complete stats.

Dominican League

Year Team League W L Pct
1937 Ciudad Trujillo Dominican League 8 2 .800


Mexican League

Year Team League W L Pct G CG IP H BB SO ERA
1938 Agrario de México Mexican League 1 1 .500 3 0 19.3 28 12 7 5.12


Note: Paige suffered a serious arm injury while playing in Mexico.

Cuban (Winter) League

Year Team League W L Pct G CG
1929/30 Santa Clara Cuban League 6 5 .545 15 8

Source: [70]

California Winter League

Year Team League W L Pct CG IP BB SO
1931/32 Philadelphia Giants California Winter 6 0 1.000 6 58 70
1932/33 Tom Wilson's Elite Giants California Winter 7 0 1.000 7 63 91
1933/34 Wilson's Elite Giants California Winter 16 2 .889 18 172 47 244
1934/35 Wilson's Elite Giants California Winter 8 0 1.000 7 69 20 104
1935/36 Wilson's Elite Giants California Winter 13 0 1.000 6 94 28 113
1943/44 Baltimore Elite Giants California Winter 3 1 .750 1 36 10 39
1945 Kansas City Royals California Winter 1 1 .500 1 27 12 27
1946 Kansas City Royals California Winter 0 2 .000 0 15 7 21
1947 Kansas City Royals California Winter 2 1 .667 1 35 14 60
Total 9 seasons 56 7 .889 47 569 769

Source: [68]

Puerto Rican (Winter) League

Year Team League W L Pct IP BB SO ERA
1939/40* Guayama p Puerto Rico 19 3 .864 205 54 208 1.93
1940/41 Guayama Puerto Rico 4 5 .444 26 70 3.89
1947/48 Santurce Puerto Rico 0 3 .000 34 13 26 2.91
Total 3 seasons 23 11 .676 93 304
   * – league MVP; – single-season league record; p = pennant.

Sources: [68][71]

Major League Baseball

Minor League Baseball


  1. ^ Paige began his professional career in 1926 with the Chattanooga White Sox of the minor Negro Southern League and played his last professional game on June 21, 1966 for the Peninsula team of the Carolina League. See Tye, pp. 24–29, 272.
  2. ^ Tye, pp. viii–x.
  3. ^ Paige and Lipman, opposite p. 145.
  4. ^ Paige and Lipman, p. 14.
  5. ^ Tye, pp. 3–4, 6.
  6. ^ Paige and Lipman, p. 14; Tye, pp. 10, 22–23.
  7. ^ Paige and Lipman, p. 17; Tye, p. 9.
  8. ^ Tye, p. 10.
  9. ^ Paige and Lipman, pp. 22–28; Tye, pp. 14–20.
  10. ^ Paige and Lipman, pp. 28–32; Tye, pp. 21–22.
  11. ^ Paige and Lipman, pp. 34–35; Tye, pp. 23–24.
  12. ^ Tye 2009, p. 25.
  13. ^ Tye 2009, pp. 41–42.
  14. ^ Tye 2009, p. 42; Paige and Lipman 1993, pp. 45–46.
  15. ^ Tye 2009, p. 43.
  16. ^ Tye 2009, pp. 44–45.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Hogan 2006, pp. 406–07.
  18. ^ Ribowsky 1994, p. 56, credits him with a record 184 strikeouts, while Holway 2001, p. 244, also credits him with the record, albeit with 194 strikeouts. The statistics from the Hall of Fame study published by Hogan 2006, pp. 406–07, credit him with 176 strikeouts, which is the highest single-season total for any of the Hall of Fame or Hall-of-Fame candidate pitchers that were published in 2006, but the complete data for all pitchers were not yet available as of January 2010.
  19. ^ Holway 2001, p. 244.
  20. ^ Ribowsky 1994, p. 58.
  21. ^ Ribowsky 1994, p. 61; Paige and Lipman, pp. 54–55; Figueredo, p. 183.
  22. ^ Ribowsky 1994, p. 61.
  23. ^ Tye 2009, p. 133.
  24. ^ González Echevarría 1999, p. 185; Tye 2009, p. 133.
  25. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 65–66.
  26. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 66–68.
  27. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 71–72; Tye 2009, p. 52.
  28. ^ Paige and Lipman 1993, p. 57.
  29. ^ Appel 2002; Ribowsky 1994, p. 74, Tye 2009, pp. 53–58.
  30. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 79–81; Tye 2009, p. 58.
  31. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 80-81; Tye 2009, pp. 85–87, 303.
  32. ^ Holway 2001, p. 289; Ribowsky 1994, pp. 84–86; Tye 2009, pp. 60–61.
  33. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 86–87.
  34. ^ Neyer and Epstein 2000, pp. 227–28.
  35. ^ McNary 2000–01; Ribowsky 1994, pp. 90–95, 113–17; Tye 2009, pp. 64–65.
  36. ^ Tye 2009, pp. 65–66.
  37. ^ Ribowsky 1994, p. 100; Tye 2009, pp. 66–67.
  38. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 102–05; Tye 2009, pp. 88–90.
  39. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 105–07.
  40. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 108–11; Tye 2009, pp. 68–70. In his autobiography (Paige and Lipman 1993, pp. 81–82), Paige claims he won the game 2–1 in 11 innings.
  41. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 110–11; Tye 2009, pp. 70.
  42. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 117–18, 120–21; Tye 2009, pp. 90–94.
  43. ^ Tye 2009, pp. 93–94.
  44. ^ Tye 2009, p. 94.
  45. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 121–22.
  46. ^ McNary 2000–01; Ribowsky 1994, pp. 124–32; Tye 2009, pp. 102–07.
  47. ^ Steiz, Dale. "Lawrence Dumont Stadium History". Retrieved February 14, 2010. 
  48. ^ "History of the NBC". National Baseball Congress. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  49. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 133–36.
  50. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 136–38; Tye 2009, pp. 96–97.
  51. ^ Daily Worker article by Lester Rodney, 1937, quoted by Zirin, Dave (December 27, 2009). "Lester 'Red' Rodney: 1911-2009". The Nation. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  52. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 140–42.
  53. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 144–45.
  54. ^ Ribowsky 1994, pp. 146–51; Tye 2009, pp. 108–11.
  55. ^ Tye 2009, pp. 110–14.
  56. ^ Paige and Lipman 1993, p. 120.
  57. ^ Tye 2009, p. 115.
  58. ^ a b Holway 2001, p. 337.
  59. ^ Hogan, Lawrence D. (2006), Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball, Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, ISBN 079225306X , p. 308.
  60. ^ Vázquez, Edwin; Beisbol De Ligas Negras-James "Cool Papa" Bell Beisbox Caribe; 2006-12-22
  61. ^ Bjarkman, Peter C.; Winter pro baseball’s proudest heritage passes into oblivion
  62. ^ InPowell, Larry. Leroy “Satchel” Paige. 2008. Encyclopedia of Alabama. 28 April 2009.
  63. ^ McElrath, Jessica. “African American History”. 14 March 2009.
  64. ^ Harlem Globetrotters All-Time Roster, retrieved March 21, 2008
  65. ^ "Boston Red Sox vs Kansas City Athletics September 25, 1965 Box Score". Baseball Almanac. 1965-09-25. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  66. ^ Missouri State Manual, 1969–1970, p. 1340
  67. ^ Hogan, pp. 380–81.
  68. ^ a b c Tye, p. 303.
  69. ^ Treto Cisneros, p. 477.
  70. ^ Figueredo, p. 183.
  71. ^ Van Hyning, pp. 74, 241, 247, 254, 255.


  • Appel, Jacob (2002), "Satchel Paige", St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture,, retrieved February 8, 2010 
  • Figueredo, Jorge S. (2003), Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878–1961, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 078641250X 
  • Fox, William Price (2005). Satchel Paige's America. Fire Ant Books. ISBN 0817351892. 
  • González Echevarría, Roberto (1999), The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195146050 
  • Hogan, Lawrence D. (2006), Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball, Washington DC: National Geographic, ISBN 079225306X 
  • Holway, John B. (2001), The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues: The Other Half of Baseball History, Fern Park, FL: Hastings House Publishers, ISBN 0803820070 
  • McNary, Kyle (2000–01). "North Dakota Integrated Baseball History". Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  • Neyer, Rob; Eddie Epstein (2000). Baseball Dynasties: The Greatest Teams of All Time. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04894-2. 
  • Paige, Leroy (Satchel); as told to David Lipman (1993). Maybe I’ll Pitch Forever. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-8732-1. 
  • Pietrusza, David; Matthew Silverman & Michael Gershman (2000 title=Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia). Total/Sports Illustrated. 
  • Ribowsky, Mark (1994). Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80963-X. 
  • Treto Cisneros, Pedro (2002), The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, 1937–2001, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0786413786 
  • Tye, Larry (2009). Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend. New York: Random House. ISBN 1400066514. 
  • Van Hyning, Thomas E. (1995), Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0786419709 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.

Leroy Robert Paige (7 July 1906 - 8 June 1982) American baseball player; Pitcher


  • There ain't no man can avoid being born average. But there ain't no man got to be common.
    • "Words of the Week" "Jet" (Sep 4, 1958)
  • Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
    If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
    Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
    Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society— the social ramble ain't restful.
    Avoid running at all times.
    And don't look back— something might be gaining on you.
    • "How to Stay Young" Collier's Magazine (13 June 1953)
  • Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.
    • New York Post (4 October 1959)
  • Don't go to college, unless to get knowledge.
    • "Telfer campaign" (March 2003)

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