leroy paige

Leroy “Satchel” Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982).

Paige didn’t know his birthdate until he was 42 years old, when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck tracked down the pitcher’s birth certificate.

After playing in the Negro Leagues since 1926, Paige signed a major league baseball contract on 7 July 1948 (his 42nd birthday), and made his first start 2 days later, the oldest person to make a major league debut. His last major league game was in 1965.

Today In History

‘Leroy “Satchel” Paige, the first Negro League player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, was born in Mobile, AL, on this date July 7, 1906. Paige signed with the Cleveland Indians on this date in 1948 and two days later became the oldest rookie and the first Black to pitch in an American League baseball game.’

(photo: Leroy “Satchel” Paige)

- CARTER Magazine

February 9, 1971
Leroy “Satchel” Paige becomes the first Negro League player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Paige began his professional career in the Negro Leagues in 1926, where he remained one of the most dominant and popular players in the league until his major league debut in 1948. Paige was 42 when he pitched his first major league game, and he pitched his last big league game at the age of 59.