Rookie Card Showcase: 1949 Bowman Satchel Paige

This is part 21 of an ongoing series. To see the rest of this series, click here.

There are good pitchers.

There are great pitchers.

And then there are legendary pitchers

Satchel Paige fits into the latter category.

Paige is a historical figure in the sports world.  He cut his baseball teeth in the Negro Leagues during a time when sports — like the rest of the country — was segregated.  He did not join Major League Baseball until he was age 42.

He is a World Series Champion, two-time Major League All-Star and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  In fact, he was the first Negro League player to be elected to The Hall.

One look at his Major League resume, which only spans six years, really does not do Paige justice.  This is where the legend kicks in.

He’s credited with hurling 64 straight shutout innings and 21 straight victories.  He also tallied 31 victories in 1933.

He’s revered as one of the bet pitchers of all time — Joe DiMaggio called him the best he’d ever faced.  One always has to wonder how well he could have fared in the Major Leagues during his entire career.

Anyhow, there are two things I learned recently about Paige.

1) According to Beckett.com, Paige has TWO Topps cards (during his playing days) — 1953 and a 1967 Topps Valenzuela — and only ONE Bowman card — his 1949 Bowman rookie featured hee.

2) He last pitched in MLB in 1965 as a member of the Kansas City Athletics.  He started at the age of 58 against the Boston Red Sox. He tossed 3 innings, faced 10 batters, struck out one and allowed one hit — a double to Carl Yastrzemski.

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