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the greatest baseball trivia question ever
In 1921, Evans met Ty Cobb under the grandstand at Griffith Stadium and got the holy living crap beaten out of him.
Mickey Herskowitz didn’t know how the photographs came to be, but here’s what he told Bob Dorrill by e-mail: “The year WAS 1965, as Bill recalls. Satchel had been through lean times, as he frequently had, and was in town as the ‘coach’ of one of the teams — maybe the Washington Generals — playing the Harlem Globetrotters. The game was at the old Sam Houston Coliseum and Satch’s coaching technique consisted primarily of chain smoking Lucky Strikes and ignoring his players.”
“He was once a GREAT pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth three times in an exhibition game. He wanted to see the Astrodome, which was a few days away from being opened — and being finished, thus no signs on the fences and no turf around the mound. I’m sure Satch asked to throw a few from the mound for his own amusement, but do not recall who had the creative instincts to fetch a photographer. Maybe Bill Giles?
“The basketball game was that night so he had time to kill. I’m not sure where the Astro players were, but I’m guessing he showed up at the Astrodome around noon so most of them were probably still asleep.
“Wish I had more details or background, but hope this helps. Satchel’s team (the Generals? or whatever) lost to the Globe Trotters. I covered the game and interviewed him at halftime. That was when he reflected momentarily on his life and times and gave me the famous quote, ‘Life is a long and twisty road.’ “
Later in the day, former Astro and franchise icon Jimmy Wynn called Bob Dorrill to supply some additional detail on how Paige happened to make it to the Dome in game-dressed form. According to Bob Dorrill, “Jimmy (Wynn) said that while the players were in spring training George Kirksey wanted to know if a curveball would actually curve indoors so he invited Satchel Paige to come to the Dome right before the season started and throw a few. Apparently they worked fine.”
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