Who was Satchel Paige?
When Satchel Paige was younger, he was so good that he could throw a fastball and knock out a lit cigarette from a man’s mouth without knocking his head off. He was clocked throwing the ball at 103 mph. He guaranteed teams that paid him that he would strike out the first nine batters or their money back and told the outfield to take a seat.
Still, due to ridiculous amounts of racism in his prime years, he didn’t play in the big leagues until after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. At this time, he was 42 years old. Still, he was on a championship winning team and was a major reason why they won the championship that year. Though his best years were behind him, he got a shot and made it worth it. He played for a few more years before retiring.
Then in 1966, when Satchel was 59 years old, Kansas City decided to invite him to pitch as a publicity stunt. He was old enough to be many of the batters’ grandfather. His arrival, however, was no joke. He threw three scoreless innings before he exited the game.
There are a couple morals to the story here:
1. Satchel Paige was incredible pitcher, who does not get the fame, praise, honor, or attention he deserves.
2. Racism is stupid, and it hurts us all. America was deprived of seeing an incredible once in a lifetime baseball player. Because of his banishment, marginal teams that could have won championships didn’t win them. Teams that were dynasties could’ve gone longer. Profits from fans coming to see him play never materialized.
Racism hurt baseball just like it hurts everything else in life. It limits are human potential. End racism now.
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