Thursday, April 17, 2008

1953 Topps Project - Post #12

#220 - Satchell Paige - St. Louis Browns

Ok, so I haven't posted here in over a week. I just bought a house and am closing tomorrow so things have been a bit crazy. Anyway, I'm posting this gem for your enjoyment to make up for it (the card that I hacked up in MS Paint to create the banner for this site)...

It would be too great an undertaking to summarize the feats and accomplishments of Satchell's long and successful career here. Although it is not known exactly when he was born, it is clear that his time on the mound spanned an impressive 5 decades! It's pretty amazing to read about his career in the negro leagues. I have a difficult time keeping track of all the teams and leagues, I should really read up on my Negro League history. Anyway, Satchell was literally rented out to different teams for a game or two here and there. It always cracks me up when you read about old time baseball players who accepted something like "$400 and a late model Chrysler" for pay, as Satchell once did.

Paige was known for throwing a variety of strange pitches, and eventually one of them (the "hesitation pitch") was banned by American League President Will Harridge. This card represents Satchell's last real year in the majors. He didn't have the greatest year in 1953, going 3-9 despite a respectable 3.53 ERA. Nevertheless, Satchell was a true baseball great and a very interesting personality.

As an interesting piece of baseball trivia, Satchell did make a 3 inning appearance for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, facing the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 3 scoreless innings in that game, giving up only a double to Carl Yastrzemski.

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