Satchel Paige Age 46? Complete Game Shutout August 6, 1952
There’s his line for the game – – 12 innings pitched (When’s the last time you saw a pitcher go 12?), no earned runs, 7 hits, 9 strikeouts and only 2 walks. Not a bad outing for any pitcher, but this one, Satchel Paige, was at least 46 years old.
The thing is, nobody knew how old Satchel Paige really was. Many people were convinced that Paige himself did not know his actual birth date. Try googling Satchel Paige Age, and you’ll get about 23,000 hits.
One of those hits is the official Satchel Paige website, Satchelpaige.com (Well, it’s official to the extent that they claim be the exclusive licensing agent for Satchel Paige.) Satchelpaige.com says, “It is estimated that Leroy “Satchel” Paige was born on July 7, 1906. The mere idea that his birthday is an estimate provides perfect evidence to the mystery that was Satchel Paige”.
One thing that is certainly known, is that Paige made his Major League pitching debut on July 9, 1948, and that he was and still is, the oldest rookie in Major League history. Of course the reason why Paige did not start pitching in The Majors until he reached the age when most players are well into their retirement, is because he was denied that right; for being black.
On the other hand, not being allowed to pitch in The Majors did not keep Paige from being widely recognized as not only a great Negro League pitcher, but as one of the greatest pitchers ever, period.
In addition to being the oldest rookie in Major League history, Paige was also probably the most famous.
From 1927 to 1948 Satchel Paige was the baseball equivalent of a hired gun: He pitched for any team in the United States or abroad that could afford him. He was the highest paid pitcher of his time, and he wowed crowds with the speed of his fastball, his trick pitches and his considerable bravado. History.com
Technicaly speaking, in 1947, the year before Satchel Paige’s “rookie season”, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, but
The truth is that Satchel Paige had been hacking away at baseball’s color bar decades before the world got to know Jackie Robinson. Satchel laid the groundwork for Jackie the way A. Philip Randolph, W.E.B. DuBois, and other early Civil Rights leaders did for Martin Luther King Jr. Paige was as much a poster boy for black baseball as Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong was for black music and Paul Robeson was for the black stage – and much as those two became symbols of their art in addition to their race, so Satchel was known not as a great black pitcher but a great pitcher. In the process Satchel Paige, more than anyone, opened to blacks the national pastime and forever changed his sport and this nation. Read more, sabr.org