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Paige, Satchellocked

(07 July 1906–08 June 1982)
  • Rob Ruck

Extract

Paige, Satchel (07 July 1906–08 June 1982), Negro League baseball pitcher and Hall of Famer, was born Leroy Robert Paige in Mobile, Alabama, the son of John Paige, a gardener, and Lulu (maiden name unknown), a washerwoman. Paige acquired his nickname as a youth after rigging a sling for toting satchels for travelers from the Mobile train station. He joined his first organized team, at the W. H. Council School, at age ten and soon developed a reputation as one of Mobile’s best schoolboy players. But he also gained notoriety with the truant officer for frequently playing hooky and getting into gang fights. When he was twelve, Paige was committed to the Industrial School for Negro Children at Mount Meigs, Alabama, after he stole a handful of toy rings from a store. Paige later reflected that the five and a half years he spent at Mount Meigs “did something for me—they made a man out of me . . . and gave me a chance to polish up my baseball game.”...

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