A Paige From the Archives
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI •
AUGUST 6, 1952 – Satchel Paige got a rare start on this date in 1952, and ended up in one of the greatest pitching duels of all-time.
Despite the consensus among players, black and white, who played with and against him that he was the greatest pitcher of his day, Paige didn’t make the majors until after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Paige was called up in 1948, but he was well into his 40’s by then. Hence, Paige pitched mostly relief.
But this day he got the start for the St. Louis Browns against Detroit Tiger right-hander Virgil Trucks. They were two cagey veterans; Trucks was 35. Paige was 47. They matched each other pitch for pitch, inning for inning. The old man prevailed. Trucks pitched 11 scoreless innings. Paige pitched 12 and won 1-0.
Satchel Paige’s long overdue major league career lasted six seasons. He appeared in 179 games (26 as a starter), finishing with a 3.29 earned run average.