On this day in 1971, pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige became the first Negro League veteran to be nominated to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was later inducted in August 1971.
Paige was a pitching legend that boasted an epic career spanning five decades, marked by his distinctive fastball and magnetic showmanship. He was known as the best pitcher in the Negro Leagues and continued to be a stand-out player when he joined a major league team, the Cleveland Indians, in 1948 at age 42. Although Paige’s exact birth date was never known, his date of birth is believed to be sometime around July 7, 1906.
Paige’s nickname, Satchel, was given to him as a child when he worked in train stations, carrying passengers’ bags for money. He died in June 1982.