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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Residents in favor of RCN coming to city

    Friday, August 25, 2017 08:53
  • Sergio Cornelio unanimously appointed City Clerk

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 09:22
  • DeRuosi’s Report Card

    Friday, August 04, 2017 10:24
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

Satchel Paige, One of a Kind

One of his sayings is “Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common”. Satchell certainly was not common. He defied age. His last appearance as a Major League Baseball pitcher was with the Kansas City Athletics on September 25, 1965 when he was 59 years old. He was born Leroy Robert Page to John Page and Lula Coleman Page in the Down the Bay section of Mobile.

Mr. Paige was born in Mobile, Alabama on July 7, 1906 and died June 8, 1982 at 75 years old. He became a semi-professional pitcher with the Mobile Tigers from 1924 to 1926. His professional career started with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts in 1926 in the Negro Southern League. Paige pitched his last professional game on June 21, 1966 for the Peninsular Grays of the Carolina League. He was noted for his control and also as a cocky individual. In his younger years he toured the country in the off season and he would have his infielders sit down while he struck out the side.

Blacks were not chosen to play in the white professional baseball leagues so he was faced with the option of the Negroe leagues. He pitched for Chattanooga and Birmingham from 1926 to 1929; Cuba, Baltimore and Cleveland from 1929 to 1931; Pittsburgh, California and North Dakota from 1931 to 1936; Dominican Republic 1937; Mexico 1938; Kansas City Travelers 1939; Puerto Rico 1939-1940; and the Kansas City Monarchs 1940 to 1947. He pitched in the Negro World Series in 1942 and 1946, and started barnstorming with Bob Feller in 1967 and 1947.

Finally in 1948 the Cleveland Indians in desperate need of pitching took a chance on the 42 year old Satchel Paige and he continued on the Indians rotation in 1949. He pitched for the St. Louis Browns 1951 to 19534 and the Kansas City Athletics in 1965 at 59.

His two seasons in Bismarck, North Dakota, Paige was 35 and 2while striking out 440 batters, in the Dominican league he was 8 and 2. In 1931 and 1932 he pitched in the California Winter league for the Philadelphia Giants with a record of 6 and 0 with 70 strike outs over 58 innings pitched. In 1932 and 1933 he pitched for the Tom Wilson’s Elite Giants and had a record of 7 – 0 with 91 strike outs in 63 innings. The team was renamed the Wilson’s Elite Giants where he pitched for 193 through 1936 with a record of 37 and 2, striking out 461 batters in 335 innings.

On July 9, 1948 he became the oldest pitcher ever having a debut at 42 years and 2 days. The 1948 season was great for the rookie, finishing with a 6 and 1 mark, a 2.48 ERA, 2 shutouts, 43 strike outs, 22 walks, and 61 base hits allowed in 72 and 2/3 innings. He was released by the Indians after the 1948 season when his record slipped to 4 and 7, 1 and 3 as a starter. He barnstormed for a couple of years and then was picked up by the St. Louis Browns in 1951. Where he ended the season at 3 and 4. In 1954 his record was 12 -10 and he was the fir st black selected to the American League All Star Team although the game ended after 5 innings because of rain and Satchel never got a chance to show his stuff.

His style was somewhat unique. He fired a stinging fast ball and an occasional curve the after arm trouble he developed what he called his :hesitation pitch” which was a type of changeup with such a log delay between starting the motion and delivery that many managers complained that the type was a balk, but umpires sided with the old man. By the 1950s he had added a screwball, knuckleball, and an eephus pitch that went high up and finally down by the batter. He also used different angles of his arm, sometimes overhead, sometimes side arm and sometimes different angles in between.

Paige was the first black to be elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

SACHEMVILLE

Our baseball team and softball team both lost opening round games in the MIAA State Tournaments, baseball losing to Danvers 6 – 0 and softball losing to Lynnfield 8 – 0.

At the All State Track and Field meet last weekend Haley Dennis finished 14th in the 100 meters.

The Boston Globe featured the Saugus High School Girls Golf team this past week. The team under Coach Jeff Mitchel has 32 student on the squad which is very unusual for any high school golf team. The team went 10 and 8 over the season as one of the few teams north of Boston which meant long trips south and west to compete. Their home course is Cedar Glen. In the state north sectional they finished in fifth place with a score of 441. Rachel May, a senior, led the Sachems with a score of 103 strokes, and the other senior, Emma Caron had 111. The two sophomores, Madison Slane and Caitlin Wright had 110 and 117 respectively. The team has 10 sophomores and 9 freshmen so we can expect grand things of Mitchel and his squad.

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