Wednesday, February 25, 2015

HALL OF FAME #9: SATCHEL PAIGE: CLASS OF 1971

Here's a fun card, a "Hall of Fame" card for the next player inducted in 1971, Negro League legend Satchel Paige:


Paige was inducted into the Hall by special committee, the Negro League Committee, and was an obvious choice.
The stories of Paige in his prime are endless, and while most are embellished beyond any scope of reality, the man was an incredible pitcher that many Major League stars who opposed him during his prime went out of their way to say so.
On the Major League level, Paige made his debut in 1948 with Cleveland at the ripe old age of 41, going 6-1 with a 2.48 earned run average over 21 games, seven of which were starts.
The following season he went 4-7 with a 3.04 E.R.A., but ended up missing all of 1950 before coming back to pitch three more years with the St. Louis Browns, going a combined 18-23 with a couple of shutouts and 26 saves over 126 games, 13 of which were starts.
We're talking about a man who was 46 years old at the end of that run!
Move ahead twelve years, in 1965, and Paige took the mound at the age of 58 as a promotional stunt with the Kansas City A's, yet still managed to pitch three innings, giving up a sole hit with no walks, with a strikeout thrown in for good measure! Hilarious!
In those six truncated seasons in the Majors, Paige went a combined 28-31 with a 3.29 earned run average, 288 strikeouts and two shutouts over 179 games and 476 innings.
But it was his legendary status in the Negro Leagues that made him a baseball immortal within the halls of Cooperstown.

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