Satchel Paige

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Babe_Ruth, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    He's arguably the best pitcher of all time, some people may say wait, look at his stats, well I did and if you didn't know he was 42 years old when he made his major league debut. His numbers in the Negro Leagues are simply outstanding, no one wanted to face him, and people say he had the fastest fastball theyve ever seen.

    But once again a lot of this is only speculation because so many stories are far fetched in the negro leagues, but I truly believe he was an outstanding pitcher, and arguably in the top 5 of all time.

    Discuss Satchel Paige.

  2. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    Honestly, I would never criticize any ranking of him as being too high among pitchers. There's really just no way to know. He put up some pretty good numbers in the short time he was allowed in MLB, and there are stories of how he did in exhibition games against MLB players.
  3. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Registered Member

    I'd say he's easily the greatest of all time. Like I posted in thread, 2,000 games, 1,000 wins, 50 no-hitters, in a career that spanned from 1926 to 1965, when at the age of 59, he threw three scorless innings against Boston. Only one batter, Hall-of-Famer Carl Yaztremski, got a hit off of him. His control was absolutely pinpoint. Paige would set a gum wrapper (a gum wrapper!) on home plate and would tell others he could throw his "be-ball" (the name he gave his fastball "'Cause it be where I want it to") directly over the wrapper, and he would every single time. Hall Of Famer Buck O'Neil would recount the many times Satch would call in his infield, load the bases intetionally, and then strike out the side. He had a wide assortment of pitches, each with their own names, including his "hesitation pitch" in which he would start his delivery, and just before he fired the ball to home plate, would come to a complete stop, then fire the ball home. The pitch had hitters literally way out in front of themselves and was so good, it was banned by the American League when he finally got the call to the majors. In an exhibtion game against the best Major Leaguers in 1930, Paige struck out 22, his career high. 22! And these were against Major league all-stars. He pitched year round, incling one year in which he pitched in 153 games. To top it all off, he had a delivery that may have very well been the most deceptive in baseball history, a windmill windup that threw off many a hitters timing. In short, you could very well he was the perfect pitcher.

    He was well loved by his teammates, but hated by team owners because he basically went where the most money was. He'd sign a contract, and before long, a better contract would be offered and he'd jump ship. He would do this quite a bit, but because he was so good all the owners could do was just watch helplessly.

    One story I constantly hear about Satchel is the time when two Negro League players were on their way to the ballpark to play in an exhibition game when they were stopped by a policeman in Georgia, a place that was well known for it's harsh treatment of Blacks, esepcially in the 1930's. The officer said that they were speeding, and that he was gonna fine them 50 dollars, a decent amount of money at the time. He wanted to know where they were going. One of them told the officer "We're Negro Leaguers. We're going to see Satchel Paige..." The officer immediately stopped them when he heard the name Satchel Paige and said "I'm not gonna give you a ticket after all. All I ask is that you escort to the game." That was the effect Satchel Paige had oin just about any true baseball fan of that era.

    Dizzy Dean, one of Paige's closest friends and a member of both the hall of fame and the legendary 1934 St. Louis Cardinals "Gashouse Gang" was asked by a sportswriter how his team would do if Satchel were on that club. Dean replied "We'd win the pennant by July and then go fishing until World Series time".

    In 1941, a minor controversy arose when it was reported that when interviewed about possible integrating Major League Baseball, Paige was steadfastly against it. This led to an outrage amongst Black fans and the like, but of course it turned out not to be true. To hammer the point home, the very next day, at the East-West game (The Negro Leagues' version of the all-star game) Paige went up in front of 41,000 fans and announced that he never said he was against integration. The fans gave him a standing ovation.

    When Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball, Paige wasn't happy citing that "I am the guy that started this talk about integrating baseball" but at the same time he understood that it was probably for the better of Blacks that jackie be the first. He would make his debut in 1948 at the age of 42. He pitched in teh World Series that year, but it was only two-thirds of an innings and he was let down by the fact that he wasn't starting a world series game. He initially was a relief pitcher when first called up, the manager Lou Boudreau citing his age. But after seeing jus how effective he was out of the bullpen, Boudreau put him in the rotation and in his very first start, in front of over 70,000, he pitched Cleveland to a 4-2 victory over 6 or 7 innings. late in the year, setting a new single night attendance record. He pitched in front of 78,000 fans against the White Sox, who were battling with Cleveland for the pennant and pitched a complete-game shutout, the first of two complete game shutouts e would pitch against The White Sox that year.

    He was elected to the hall of fame in 1971, and passed on I believe in 1982. I could write more, but I have to head out.
  4. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    Man that was a great read, the things you mentioned like the gum wrapper is simply outstanding. The thing that makes his stories more realistic then other negro players is what Dizzy Dean said about him, a great pitcher of his own.

    If he actually did strike out 22 batters that's simply amazing, because that means that five other batters were put out by either a ground out, Pop out, Fly out or foul out. Which is simply amazing. Also in the entire life of baseball only a couple of people actually reached 20 strike outs in one game, he reached 22.

    Please tell us more when you get the chance, it's such an incredible read.
  5. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    I find it hard to believe that he pitched more than TWICE as many games as Cy Young, who is known as a workhorse.

    Getting 1000 wins out of 2000 games is only a .500 Win Percentage.

    It's also incredibly unlikely that he threw more than seven times as many no-hitters than the record holder in MLB (and more than 12 times as many as the 2nd place MLB pitcher).

    Except for the fact that Dean was a bit of a bragger himself... ;)

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