Satchel Page is an American baseball player in the Negro and Premier League. He is known as the oldest rookie in MLB history and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. She was born as Leroy Robert Page on July 7, 1906 in Mobile, Alabama, to John Page, a gardener, and Lula Page, a housemaid. Lula adds an “i” to her last name, which makes Paige sound elegant. Satchel grew to be 6’4 “and began playing in the Negro Southern Baseball League in 1926. In 1948, at the age of 42, he became the oldest rookie to enter the Premier League.
Paige received his first pitching lessons while serving out a five-year sentence in a juvenile reform school in Alabama.
As a young man Leroy earned money as a baggage carrier at the train station and rigged up a pole that allowed him to carry more luggage at one time and increase his pay. This is where his nickname came from – when he was told that he looked like a ‘walking satchel tree’.
His coaches at the school realized that Paige’s stringbean figure gave him an ideal frame to generate power off a mound.
Satchel was enrolled in reform school when he was 12 for petty crimes. At the Industrial School for Negro Children in Alabama the coach took an interest in Satchel’s ability to play baseball. He taught him how to pitch, which would be his claim to fame in the Major Leagues.
Paige was one of America’s most famous ballplayers, but he didn’t get his first Major League chance until 1948 — one year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
When Satchel first sought a career in professional baseball African Americans were not allowed in the Major Leagues. Satchel joined the Negro Southern League in 1928.
Paige signed with Veeck’s Indians on July 7, his 42nd birthday, and went 6-1 down the stretch to help Cleveland claim the American League pennant.
Satchel Paige soon began to draw crowds to baseball games, for his talent as a pitcher.
Paige became the first African-American to pitch in the World Series, coming out of the bullpen in Game 5, and the Tribe won the championship in six games.
Joe DiMaggio referred to Satchel Paige as ‘the best and fastest pitcher I’ve ever faced’. This remark followed a game between the Satchel Paige All-Stars and the New York Yankees, in which Satchel pitched to DiMaggio.
At age 49, Paige signed with the Phillies’ Triple-A club in Miami and put together three straight seasons with 10 wins and a sub-3.00 ERA.
Jackie Robinson, another African American baseball talent broke through the color-barrier in Major League Baseball, making it possible for Satchel Paige to try out for the Cleveland Indians.
The hurler got one more crack at glory on Sept. 25, 1965, when at the ripe young age of 59, Paige started a game for the Kansas City Athletics and pitched three scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox.
On July 7th, 1948, on Satchel Paige’s 42nd birthday, he debuted in the Major Leagues of baseball. He was the oldest player ever to debut in the league.
Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was the only Red Sox player to get a hit off Paige, who relaxed in a rocking chair when the A’s were at the plate.
Satchel Paige was the first pitcher from the Negro League to break into the American League.
Satchel Paige pitched for the Cleveland Indians for one and a half seasons.
Satchel left the Indians to play for the St. Louis Browns. He pitched for the Browns for three years.
Even as he aged Satchel toured and was able to earn a lot of money for his appearances.
On September 25th, 1965, Satchel Paige became the oldest Major League player in history at the age of 59.
Satchel Paige wrote a few biographies about his life. In one he admits that he wished he had been the first African American to play in the Major Leagues.
Satchel Paige died on June 8th, 1982, at the age of 74, from a heart attack. He would have been 75 years old in less than a month.
Satchel Paige was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.
There is a statue of Satchel Paige in Cooper Park, Cooperstown, New York, and there is a school in Kansas City named after him.