TYPE: Ball
NOTES: Ball exhibits heavy wear and is signed by Paige in very light ink. Full LOA from PSA/DNA
ITEM ID: 4102

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Satchel Paige Signed Game Used Baseball (Single) and Photo

DATE
Year: 1936
Decade: 1930s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

The baseball is attributed to having been used during a Negro League All-Star Game in 1936.

Ball is accompanied with a typed note, which reads:
“Here is a game ball from July 1936. The game was played in Chicago at Shewbridge Field on 74th and Aberdeen. The final score of the game was 1-0 with my grandfather getting the winning hit off of Paige. The game was between my grandfather’s team, The Duffy Florals, managed by Tom Brice and all Negro League All Star Team. I could only imagine the other players that were on the field that day … “-Joe Humay.

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.

Integration in Baseball:
Photo:
Paige (left) and Jackie Robinson in the uniform of the Kansas City Monarchs, 1945.

When Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson, a former teammate of Paige, Paige realized that it was for the best that Paige himself was not the first black player in major league baseball. Robinson started in the minors, and had a major league team started him in its minor league affiliate, Paige would have probably seen this as an insult. Paige eventually realized that by integrating baseball in the minor leagues first with Robinson, the white major league players got the chance to “get used to” the idea of playing alongside black players. Understanding that, Paige said in his autobiography that, “Signing Jackie like they did still hurt me deep down. I’d been the guy who’d started all that big talk about letting us in the big time. I’d been the one who’d opened up the major league parks to colored teams. I’d been the one who the white boys wanted to go barnstorming against.” Paige, and all other black players, knew that quibbling about the choice of the first black player in the major leagues would do nothing productive, so, despite his inner feelings, Paige said of Robinson, “He’s the greatest colored player I’ve ever seen.”

Finally, on July 7, 1948, with his Cleveland Indians in a pennant race and in desperate need of pitching, Indians owner Bill Veeck brought Paige in to try out with Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau. On that same day, his 42nd birthday, Paige signed his first major league contract, for $40,000 for the three months remaining in the season, becoming the first Negro pitcher in the American League and the seventh Negro big leaguer overall. Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American League at the age of 23 the same year Robinson did in the National League, would be a teammate of Paige.