Satchel Paige pitches for A's at age 59 | Baseball Hall of Fame

Great Baseball Nicknames: ‘Satchel’ – Leroy Paige. The legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige once remarked that they only time he was called Leroy was by his mother and the U.S. Government.

Leroy Paige got his nickname early- at the age of seven. He was working at the train depot in Mobile, Alabama- ” I got me a pole and some ropes. That let me sling two, three, four satchels together and carry them one at a time. The other kids laughed at me and one of them said “you look like a walking satchel tree.” They all started yelling that, you know how it is with kids and nicknames. That’s when Leroy Paige became no more and Satchel Paige took over. Nobody called me LeRoy, nobody excepting my Mom and the government.’

Satchel Paige spent most of his career pitching in the Negro Leagues- it wasn’t until late in his career that Jackie Robinson broke the color line and Paige became the oldest rookie in major league history. No one is certain how old he was when he finally got his change in the majors- Satchel gave different ages at different times- he was anywhere from 38 to his late 40’s. It is a shame that Paige didn’t get a chance to pitch in the majors until so late. Paige estimated that he pitched over 2500 games in his long career- not only in the Negro Leagues and in the Major Leagues but he would also pitch winter ball in Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

How good was Satchel Paige? Joe Dimaggio would say that Paige was the best he ever faced. Bob Feller would say that Paige was the best he ever saw. Hack Wilson would say that the ball looked like a marble when it crossed the plate. Dizzy Dean would say that Paige’s fastball made his own look like a changeup.”

Paige, Satchel | Baseball Hall of Fame


  1. Too bad we didn’t get to see what his stats would have been through a career in MLB. Not only a great pitcher but a showman.

    • I would bet Satchel’s numbers would have been about as good as anyone’s who has played the game. A Top 10 pitcher of all time. Such a shame.

    • The things we have both read that he did…like making the outfield sit while the bases were loaded…that is confidence.

    • Maybe “Larry”? I was watching a game recently where the teams had their nicknames on the back of their jersey. An old pitching coach came out and his was “Vulture” you know who I mean?

    • those are good ones- i may have to extend things past March on the nicknames….. don’t think Ron Hunt had one.. imagine a player who practiced- getting hit by pitches…

    • I think the Gerbal despised Lee. I might have told you this but I had a Ron Hunt playing card. He took the worst picture in history, Anyone who practices that is my hero. Thats the best. How about “Bruise”. Also I love Earl Weaver.

    • The other night watching the Ken Burns doc- they had highlights of Earl going at umpires. My wife was amazed- I told her now with replay those days are gone. Earl and Billy Martin were always entertaining.

    • I have to watch that again. Earl, Billy, Whitey and later, guys like Lou P would lose his cookies. I like the replays in some ways but it took a lot of the fun out of it. Good stuff Hans

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