Thursday, September 25, 2014

Today's African American fact from baseball's "Golden Era" - Satchel Paige

On September 25, 1965 Leroy “Satchel” Paige became the third former Negro Leaguer to play in the Major Leagues during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.  As a publicity stunt, the last place Kansas City Athletics signed the 59 year old Paige for one game and he was the starting pitcher that night at Municipal Stadium against the Boston Red Sox.   Paige’s last Major League appearance had been in 1953 with the St. Louis Browns.

A’s owner Charlie Finley called it “Satchel Paige Night”.  As a part of the stunt, Paige sat in a rocking chair in the bullpen before the game while a woman wearing a nurse’s uniform rubbed his arm with liniment.

But once the game started, the stunt ended and Paige had to face the Red Sox batters.  In front of a disappointing crowd of only 9,289, he pitched three shutout innings.   He walked none and struck out one; Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette.  Paige gave up one hit, a first inning double to Carl Yastrzemski, and walked off the pitching mound for the last time in his Major League career with his team winning 1 – 0.  However, the Red Sox scored five runs off the proceeding Kansas City pitchers to win the game 5 – 2.

Who are the other two former Negro Leaguers to play in the Major Leagues in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s?  

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