By Larry Tye

He's that infrequent American icon who hasn't ever been captured in a biography helpful of him. Now, ultimately, this is the peerlessly researched, spellbindingly informed tale of athlete, showman, thinker, and boundary breaker Leroy “Satchel” Paige.

Through dogged study and large interviews, award-winning writer and journalist Larry Tye has tracked down the reality approximately this majestic and enigmatic pitcher. here's the stirring account of the kid born to a negative Alabama washerwoman, the boy who earned his nickname from his enterprising paintings as a railroad porter, and the younger guy who took up baseball at the streets and in reform tuition sooner than turning into the megastar hurler of the Negro Leagues.
In remarkable aspect, Tye unearths how Paige, damage and offended whilst Jackie Robinson beat him in breaking the Majors’ colour barrier, emerged on the inconceivable age of forty-two to assist propel the Cleveland Indians to the area sequence. (“Age is a case of brain over matter,” he said.  “If you don’t brain, it don’t matter.”)

Rewriting our historical past of baseball’s integration with Paige within the starring position and isolating fact from legend, Satchel is a narrative as huge as this larger-than-life man.

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50 consistent with video game. Satchel pitched forty-two innings, permitting eighteen runs, or three. 86 in keeping with online game. Feller recorded a little extra strikeouts and less walks according to 9 innings. the decision used to be transparent: Satchel pitched good, Feller pitched larger. The undesirable chilly Satchel suffered for a part of the journey may need performed a task. the main League batters he confronted have been, as a gaggle, higher than his Negro League teammates, and, as Feller acknowledged, “they all bore right down to see what they can do opposed to the sort of fabled determine as Satchel Paige. ” but after all the distance used to be almost always an issue of age: Feller, at twenty-eight, used to be in his leading, having simply accomplished the most powerful of the eighteen seasons he might pitch within the Majors. Satchel, at 40, used to be attempting to end up he used to be pretty much as good as ever yet in its place proven he was once no longer fairly. His video games opposed to Feller appeared extra like a father-son contention than an come across among friends. In his memoirs, Satchel most well-liked to target his pageant with Feller the subsequent 12 months, 1947, while there have been fewer video games and he fared far better. Feller through the years bared either side of his personality—the prickly and the charming—in comparing Satchel and his black All-Stars. He took the low street to begin, while The carrying information in 1946 requested no matter if any of his coloured rivals have been big-league fabric. “Haven’t visible one—not one,” stated Feller. “Maybe Paige while he used to be younger. for those who identify him you’re performed. a few are reliable hitters. a few can box beautiful reliable. such a lot of them are quick. yet i've got noticeable none who mix the features of a large league ball participant … no longer even Jackie Robinson. ” After being slammed then and later for alleged racism, Feller replaced his tone, at the very least with Satchel. He went from equivocal to gung ho. In 1962 he made a persuasive pitch in activities Illustrated for Satchel’s admission to the corridor of status. In Bob Feller’s Little Black e-book of Baseball knowledge, released in 2001, he used to be extra effusive, announcing Satchel had “perfect keep an eye on” and “could spot a hitter’s weaknesses in a short time, speedier than someone I ever knew…. Satchel Paige was once one of many best 5 or ten pitchers within the complete background of baseball. ” In a 2006 interview Feller raised his ranking, calling Satchel “one of the head 5 in heritage” and announcing, “I had an excellent courting with Satchel. ” in fact that Feller didn't have an outstanding dating with many avid gamers, white or black. He had few social talents and no humility. Satchel felt he was once no longer getting the money he was once due for the 1946 journey and he sued Feller for $3,800. Feller retaliated on the finish of the journey via exchanging the Paige All-Stars with a crew led by way of Jackie Robinson. the following yr there has been one other war of words; back Satchel demanded his cash. He used to be no longer the one one. Jackie Robinson acknowledged Feller had paid him and his teammates below they have been owed and Ray Doan, Feller’s outdated agent, sued him for alleged irregularities in the course of a 1945 barnstorming travel. Feller observed issues in a different way, announcing he used to be the person who took the danger in developing the excursions and bore the bills, so he deserved the fattest paychecks.

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