Leroy Robert Satchel Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American Negro league baseball and Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who became a legend in his own lifetime by being known as perhaps the best pitcher in baseball history, by his longevity in the game, and by attracting record crowds wherever he pitched.
Paige was a right-handed pitcher, and at age 42 in 1948, he was the oldest major league rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. He was the first player who had played in the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series, in 1948, and was the first electee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1971.
Paige first played for the semi-professional Mobile Tigers from 1924 to 1926. He began his professional baseball career in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League and became one of the most famous and successful players from the Negro leagues. While his outstanding control as a pitcher first got him noticed, it was his infectious, cocky, enthusiastic personality and his love for the game that made him a star. On town tours across the United States, Paige would sometimes have his infielders sit down behind him and then routinely strike out the side. He played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League.
While Satchel Paige was playing baseball, many ages and birthdates were reported, ranging from 1900 to 1908. Paige himself was the source of many of these dates. His actual birthdate, July 7, 1906, was determined in 1948 when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck traveled to Mobile, Alabama and accompanied Paiges family to the County Health Department to obtain his birth certificate. Paiges birth certificate is displayed in his autobiography.
In 1959, Paiges mother told a reporter that he was 55 rather than 53,