Satchel Paige

From ArticleWorld

Satchel Paige was from the slums of Mobile, Alabama. He was born around July 7, 1906-even his mother wasn't sure of the exact date. He was the seventh child born to a family of twelve siblings. He spent time at the Industrial School for Negro Children, a sort of juvenile detention center, for shoplifting and truancy. It was there he learned the fundamentals of pitching from Edward Byrd. When he was released form the detention center, he joined the Mobile Tigers, a semi-professional ball club.

Early career

Satchel Paige began his Negro League career with the Black Lookouts in May 1926. He was contracted for $50 per month. His pitching style was uncontrolled and uncoordinated and he didn't like taking advice from his managers of pitching coaches. In addition, his cocky attitude often rubbed those around him the wrong way. In spite of this, once he got control of the ball, he was golden. Because of his pitching skills, his manager of the Birmingham Barons would rent him out to other teams so they, in turn, could draw a crowd. Before Joe DiMaggio moved up to the majors, he went up against Paige. The Yankee scouts were excited that DiMaggio managed to go 1-4 against the awesome pitcher.


In 1948, Satchel Paige became the 1st black baseball player to sign for the American League when he signed with the Cleveland Indians for a contract of $40,000 for the last three months of the season. Even though he was the seventh black player to sign for the Major Leagues, he thought that he should have been signed before Jackie Robinson because he felt he did more for the integration of the game. He is quoted in his autobiography as saying, Signing Jackie like they did still hurt me deep down. Satchel played baseball on and off over the next ten years.

Paige's Rules

Satchel Paige lived by his own rules. He often balked at the rules others laid down for him so he decided to live life on his own terms. In 1953 Collier's printed his rules and in 1962, they were again published in his autobiography. In addition to avoiding fried meats, going light on the vices and avoiding running at all costs, his most famous rule was, Don't look back-- something might be gaining on you.