Today we celebrate the “ageless one”, legendary Negro Leagues pitcher and future Hall of Fame member Satchel Paige and his unlikely pitching performance in 1965 at the age of 59 for the Kansas City Athletics:
Signed by Athletics team owner Charlie Finley for one game, Paige came in to pitch on September 25th
against the Boston Red Sox, starting and eventually pitching three
innings and surrendering a single hit while striking out one batter in
his stint, thus closing the books on his sadly abbreviated Major League
career, which BEGAN back in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians when Paige
was already 41 years of age.
Because of baseball’s segregation, Paige made himself a legend beyond
legends in the Negro Leagues, becoming one of the all-time greats on the
mound, and off of it as well with his personality and pitching talents.
As a Major League pitcher spanning six seasons between 1948 and 1965
Paige would put together a 28-31 record with a nice 3.29 earned run
average in 179 games, 26 of them starts, all this while in his 40’s!
Who knows what this icon could have done pitching in the Major Leagues,
though he was STILL rightly honored with a place in Cooperstown, being
voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 and becoming the first true
Negro Leagues star player to be so recognized.