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Excerpt of reverse of TOPPS 220 card


Home: Kansas City, Missouri
Born: Sept. 112, 1908, Mobile, Ala.
Ht.: 6' 3 1/2" - Wt.: 180
Throws: Right -Bats: Right

"Ole Satch" had the best season in '52 of his long deferred and much interrupted Major League career. He was tied for 2nd in Games Appeared In, turning in an 8-8 record as a reliever and a 4-2 mark as a starter. In addition, he was in the finishing pitcher in 10 other Brownie wins. Satchell hurled a 12 inning 1-0 shutout against the Tigers in '52. He's been in the AL since '48, hurling for the Indians in '48 and '49 and the Browns in '51.


African Americans in Baseball

Baseball history bears highly visible and well-known scars of racial prejudice. The major leagues of the "National Game" were lily-white for many decades. Blacks were explicitly banned from the National Association in 1867 and professional organizations thereafter. Nevertheless, discrimination was not consistent until 1892, and a number of black players were active in minor and major league baseball in the 1880s. By 1900, blacks were organizing their own professional teams, and in 1920 they started the first Negro League that lasted until the Depression. A second league survived until 1948. When Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby began playing in the major leagues in 1947, the integration of professional baseball ended the all-black leagues.


African Americans in Sports

Struggle and achievement, prejudice and recognition are the themes that characterize the history of black athletes in American sports. That history parallels and illuminates the arduous course of black Americans in our nation's society from colonial times to the present.

The end of slavery did not provide blacks with unblemished opportunities to succeed, even in sports and entertainment, fields of work where individual skill, talent, and character would seem the essential quality for success. Only a relatively few black Americans were able to become visible in these activities dominated by whites.

But sports opportunities offered talented blacks more opportunities for stardom than most other channels of work. Despite exclusion and unbridled hostility, blacks gradually enlarged their toehold and earned prominence strictly--and mainly quietly--by perfecting their talents and pursuing their goals with unrelenting determination.

Success for contemporary black athletes in America is not without problems, however, for there is little room "at the top" for uncounted millions of black youths who emulate their sports heroes and dream of high salaries or stardom in the big leagues.


"Ballad of Satchel Paige," From Ballads of Black America

"Ballad of Satchel Paige" from the recording entitled Ballads of Black America , Folkways FC 7751, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. © 1972. Used by permission.

Leroy "Satchel" Paige was born in Mobile, Alabama where he developed his pitching in the street by throwing stones. "Satch," as he is still known by admirers, is felt by many to be the greatest pitcher the game has known.

Partial Lyrics:
"…I made the big leagues at the age of 42.
I made the big leagues at the age of 42.
If I hada been a white man, I'da made it at 22.
Hello everybody, my name is Satchel Paige…"


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Related Images

Reverse of Satchell Paige TOPPS 220 baseball trading card, 1953
Reverse of Satchell Paige TOPPS 220 baseball trading card, 1953

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