70 years ago today Satchel Paige became the first African-American pitcher in the newly-segregated Major Leagues. Arguably the best pitcher ever to throw a baseball, he came in as a 42-year-old rookie (the oldest ever) helping lead the Cleveland Indians to a World Championship. Playing in the Negro Leagues for much of his career, he won an astonishing 2000 games, pitched about 50 no-hitters and 250 shutouts. He was so good, that he was brought to the mound again at age 58 with a one-day contract and threw three shut-out innings against the Boston Red Sox. READ about an outrageous stunt he pulled against a semi-pro team, and WATCH a video to see him in action… (1948)
Once, against the “Down the Bay Boys”, he got into a jam in the ninth inning of a 1–0 ballgame when his teammates made three consecutive errors, loading the bases for the other team with two outs. Angry, Paige said he stomped around the mound, kicking up dirt. The fans started booing him, so he decided that “somebody was going to have to be showed up for that.” He called in his outfielders and had them sit down in the infield while, with surefire confidence, he pitched to the final batter. With the fans and his own teammates howling, Paige struck him out to win the game.
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