Satchel Paige was the greatest pitcher in the history of black baseball and the game's biggest showmen. The star pitcher of the Kansas City Monarchs during the early 1940s, Paige was the reason the Grays caught on in Washington. In 1942, Paige made several appearances at Griffith Stadium against Josh Gibson and the Grays - each of which drew between 20,000 and 30,000 fans. That season marked the first time that Paige and Gibson had faced each other on American soil since the early 1930s. During the mid-1930s, Gibson and Paige were teammates on the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Unlike Gibson, Paige played in the major leagues with two teams owned by Bill Veeck, the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Browns. He was the first black pitcher in a World Series game in 1948 with the Indians. At age 59, he became the oldest player ever to appear in a major league game, pitching three innings for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965. In 1971, he became the first Negro Leaguer admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Photo Credits: Art Carter Papers, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.