Satchel Paige

Age is Just a Number

The Life of Leroy Robert Paige

Hall of Fame baseball player Leroy Robert Paige was born July 7, 1906 in Mobile, Alabama. He was the seventh of 12 children. His mother changed their surname from "Page" to "Paige" because she thought it sounded more "high tone". Paige played Major League Baseball from 1948-1965 and played in several other leagues and for many different teams before he played in the MLB. He played for the Browns, Indians and Athletics in his 18 years in the MLB.

Early Life

Satchel Paige attended a reform school at age 12 because of theft and truancy, where Coach Edward Byrd saw him and thought his big hands and feet and long, slim body were perfect traits that could lead to great skill in baseball. After being sent by his mother to carry luggage for businessmen at the local train station, he rigged a pole to carry multiple bags at once to make the job easier and higher paying. Satchel's co-workers told him he looked like a "walking satchel tree", which is how he got his nickname.

What Made Satchel So Special?

He made his debut in the MLB at age 42, something unheard of in sports at that time, and also today. New York Yankee Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio said Paige was "the best and fastest pitcher" he ever faced. Lots of attention was paid to Satchel Paige in the 1920's, mainly because he was one of the few black players in any sport, but also because he played at such an old age. The KKK was at its peak while he played baseball, so it wasn't so easy being black in a professional sport. But local blacks supported him and looked up to him. Paige was one of the many blacks trying to finally find a fair place in society during this time of racial inequality.

Statistics and Awards

Satchel Paige.