Baseball Week Icon: Satchel Paige
- Najib Benouar
America’s Pastime returns to regular season play this weekend, so in our countdown to opening day, we’re proclaiming it Baseball Week here on Kempt.
There’s nothing like a bona fide baseball legend—especially one who managed to do it during his own lifetime...
Ladies and gentlemen, Leroy “Satchel” Paige.
In a sport where the term “legendary” is thrown around a lot, this distinction is more than well deserved for Paige. While he spent his best playing years in the Negro leagues, he managed to be drafted as the oldest MLB rookie ever at age 42 (and had a good five years left in him in the big leagues, including a few All-Star Game appearances). He even landed a role in a movie opposite of the era’s superstar actor, Robert Mitchum.
In his prime, he was known to have his infield sit down while he’d strike out an entire inning of batters without a hit—his patented pitching style incorporated a flamboyant high-kick windup. He was a showboat whose love of the game was so infectious, it was hard not to enjoy watching him play. Not to mention, he really could pitch. And as it turns out, he wasn’t too shabby of a dresser either.