Satchel by Larry Tye
The Life and Times of an American Legend

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Synopsis

He is that rare American icon who has never been captured in a biography worthy of him. Now, at last, here is the superbly researched, spellbindingly told story of athlete, showman, philosopher, and boundary breaker Leroy “Satchel” Paige.

Through dogged research and extensive interviews, award-winning author and journalist Larry Tye has tracked down the truth about this majestic and enigmatic pitcher. Here is the stirring account of the child born to a poor Alabama washerwoman, the boy who earned his nickname from his enterprising work as a railroad porter, and the young man who took up baseball on the streets and in reform school before becoming the superstar hurler of the Negro Leagues.
In unprecedented detail, Tye reveals how Paige, hurt and angry when Jackie Robinson beat him in breaking the Majors’ color barrier, emerged at the improbable age of forty-two to help propel the Cleveland Indians to the World Series. (“Age is a case of mind over matter,” he said.  “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”)

Rewriting our history of baseball’s integration with Paige in the starring role and separating truth from legend, Satchel is a story as large as this larger-than-life man.
 

About Larry Tye

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Larry Tye was a prize-winning journalist at The Boston Globe and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. An avid baseball fan, Tye now runs a Boston-based training program for medical journalists. He is the author of The Father of Spin, Home Lands, and Rising from the Rails and co-author, with Kitty Dukakis, of Shock. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
 
Published May 29, 2009 by Random House. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Although Paige had proven that white fans would come to see a black ballplayer, his age and reputation disqualified him as the impeccable figure Rickey needed for the tricky role of “first.” Journalist and biographer Tye (Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle C...

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The New York Times

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If I could travel back in time and watch any baseball player in his prime, I’d have to pick Satchel Paige, who was quite possibly the greatest pitcher ever.

Jul 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

The New York Times

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In his discerning, empathetic and hype-free new Paige biography, Larry Tye cites the eyewitness account of one of the white reporters who finally began paying attention to Paige in 1934: “All you can see is something like a thin line of pipe smoke.” When asked if he threw that fast consisten...

Jun 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

The Washington Post

In 1937, during a self-exile from organized baseball, Satchel Paige pitched in the Dominican Republic for a team backed by the megalomaniacal dictator Rafael Trujillo.

Jul 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

Christian Science Monitor

It’s about time somebody wrote a good biography of Satchel Paige, the great baseball pitcher, personality, showman, and entrepreneur.

Jun 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

BookPage

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Paige learned of his baseball gift at a reform school (shades of Babe Ruth) and from age 18 on, that was his life, throwing thousands of innings from Chattanooga to Bismarck, while establishing himself as a truly independent personality—digging women, cool clot...

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Bookmarks Magazine

The Topic: Born Leroy Robert Paige in the slums of Mobile, Alabama, in 1906, "Satchel" Paige used his extraordinary athletic skills and talent for showmanship to rise above poverty and bigotry in the Jim Crow South, becoming one of the most captivating baseball players of all time.

Jun 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

Project MUSE

Of course, other African American athletes also emerged as America's greatest athletes during these times—one need only invoke the names of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens, but inasmuch as baseball was generally regarded as the national pastime, Paige served chiefly as a transition figure who not only ...

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Project MUSE

From Tye's account, we learn of Paige's simple upbringing and his transformation from a boy named Leroy into the signifying towering figure called "Satchel."

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Project MUSE

Among others, he definitively establishes the date of Paige's birth (July 7, 1906), the truth of Paige's first two marriages (he married his second wife while still married to his estranged first wife), and the real author of Paige's "rules for staying young" (ghosted by Richard Donovan and attri...

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The Anniston Star

For many followers of the National Pastime, Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige, the phenomenal black pitcher from Mobile, tops the list of elite professional players past and present, black or white.

Oct 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

Bleacher Report

What I have spent my last week or so doing is reading the new—we’re talking books here, so a couple months old is still new, right?—Satchel Paige biography by Larry Tye.

Sep 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

Bleacher Report

According to author Larry Tye, the great pitcher Satchel Paige “was being Satchel fifty years before Manny Ramirez started being Manny.” He was known for his entertaining, if sometimes bizarre, behavior on the field, such as calling in his fielders and proceeding to strike out the opposition or e...

Jul 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

Bleacher Report

Veeck brought Paige in to pitch for the St. Louis Browns and then later on for the Miami Marlins, a minor league team for whom Satchel pitched in his 50's.Because he'd never saved any of his money and didn't have the kinds of sponsorship opportunities afforded to either today's athletes or white ...

Feb 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

At Home Plate

They called freelance play like that barnstorming, to distinguish it from formal league games.” Paige was the ultimate free agent, with his services being “rented out” by his team to other clubs and playing winter ball in the Caribbean.

May 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Satchel: The Life and Times o...

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