History…The Sporting News way.
Followers of this blog may have discerned that I am a Satchel Paige admirer. After all, I have already created three custom/fantasy cards of Paige and have three or four more on my to-do list.
I was, therefore, particularly interested in what The Sporting News had to say about Paige’s signing with the Cleveland Indians in July, 1948.
In the headline of a July 14 editorial, TSN publisher J.G. Taylor Spink, called Paige’s signing an “Ill-Advised Move.”
Spink led off with, “Many well-wishers of baseball emphatically fail to see eye to eye with the officials responsible for . . . the signing of Satchel Paige, the superannuated Negro pitcher, by Bill Veeck, publicity minded head of the Cleveland Indians, to ‘save the pennant’ for the Tribe.”
Spink continued, “No man should set himself up against the achievement of another man’s chances in life, be that other man Negro or white, Chinese or Indian.
“Any criticism by this publication of the addition of Paige to the pennant-seeking forces of the Cleveland club obviously is not based on Paige’s color.
“Certainly, no man at all familiar with the editorial policy of THE SPORTING NEWS and its reaction to the strivings of the Negro to gain a place in the major leagues, will question the motives of this paper.”
... “Paige said he was 39 years of ago (sic). There are reports that he is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50.
“It would have done Cleveland and the American League no good in the court of public opinion if, at 50, Paige were as Caucasian as, let us say, Bob Feller.
“To bring in a pitching ‘rookie’ of Paige’s age casts a reflection on the entire scheme of operation in the major leagues.
“To sign a hurler at Paige’s age is to demean the standards of baseball in the big circuits. Further complicating the situation is that suspicion that if Satchel were white, he would not have drawn a second thought from Veeck.”
Posted: September 13, 2013 at 08:39 AM | 46 comment(s)
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