Wonder what Satchel Paige would say today
Sixty years ago this month, the great Satchel Paige made his major league debut:
Paige's contract was bought by Bill Veeck's Cleveland Indians on July 7, 1948, his 42nd birthday. He made his major league debut two days later, entering in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Browns with the Indians trailing 4-1. He gave up two singles in two innings, striking one man out and inducing one batter to hit into a double play. The Indians lost the game 5-3 in spite of Paige's contribution. That year Satchel Paige went 6-1 with a solid 2.48 ERA for the World Champion Cleveland Indians.
I wonder how many games Paige would have won had he spent his entire career in the majors. Who knows? My guess is that he would have challenged many of the pitching records, especially complete games and strikeouts. He would have sold out stadium after stadium in a way not seen since Babe Ruth. Paige was as much a showman as a pitcher.
It's hard to believe today that such a talent was for years not allowed to pitch in the majors because of skin color. Nevertheless, I never saw Paige complain about his fortune. Instead, he made the most of what he had.
Apart from pitching, Satchel was well known for what he said. In this respect, he was like a black Yogi Berra, the other great baseball philosopher.
Allow me to speculate. What would the great Paige say to young people today?
What would he say to the people who complain about everything rather than take advantage of the opportunities in front of them? It would be something like one of his greatest lines: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
We could use a few more people like Paige around these days.