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Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend | [Larry Tye]

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

In his hometown streets of Mobile, Alabama, Satchel Paige fired rocks with enough power and precision to bring down a bird or a rival gang member. In the Negro Leagues he fine-tuned a pitch so fast that catchers complained it set their mitts on fire. After a young Joe DiMaggio managed a scratch single off of him, a Yankees scout wired his bosses, "DiMaggio all we hoped he'd be. Hit Satch one for four."
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Publisher's Summary

Here is the definitive biography of Satchel Paige, an all-American story of struggle and triumph about the greatest pitcher to ever throw a baseball.

In his hometown streets of Mobile, Alabama, Satchel Paige fired rocks with enough power and precision to bring down a bird or a rival gang member. In the Negro Leagues he fine-tuned a pitch so fast that catchers complained it set their mitts on fire. After a young Joe DiMaggio managed a scratch a single off of him, a Yankees scout wired his bosses, "DiMaggio all we hoped he'd be. Hit Satch one for four."

But racial discrimination kept the Yankees and every other big-league team from signing Paige until he was 42, when he was voted Rookie of the Year. While many dismissed him as a Stepin Fetchit, if not an Uncle Tom, this book makes clear that Paige was something else entirely, a quiet subversive, defying both Uncle Tom and Jim Crow. He pitched so spectacularly that white writers and fans turned out to watch black baseball. He drew the spotlight first to himself, then to his all-black Kansas City Monarchs, and inevitably to the Monarch's rookie second baseman Jackie Robinson.

In the process, Satchel, even more than Jackie, opened the door for African Americans to the national pastime and forever changed his sport and this nation.

©2009 Larry Tye; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Having known Satchel when I was a young ballplayer, I'm reminded of the man who took over the game with both his superior pitching and his dynamic personality. This book is a must-read that captures the essence of one of the greatest legends in baseball history, Satchel Paige. (Dusty Baker, Manager, Cincinnati Reds)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (27 )
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  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 03-26-13
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "free lance / free man / free agent"

    ? what'd you do with outrageous talent as a black 20 year old in 1926
    ? how'd you respond to scouts who'd say "...boy, if only you were white..."
    ? what'd you say if you had to wait until you were 42 to get your chance

    born in 1906, leroy robert "satchel" paige faced all these questions and more
    blessed with a perfect right arm and cursed with a " jim crow " childhood
    he ranked easily among the 20 best baseball players of all time

    his life had every sad and varied element of 20th century african-american life
    it's no surprise it is so relentlessly hard, paradoxical and counterintuitive
    he seemed forever balanced between cold blooded competitor and playful clown

    all the showmanship and exaggeration kept the writers and fans amused
    and it kept the light focused on satchel and the world at a reliable arms length
    the introverted performer treasured the mound as his personal safe stage

    so many aspects of his professional behavior pre-date free agency
    he never apologized for offering his fantastic talents to the highest bidder
    his matter-of-fact mercenary approach would fit in perfectly with today's game

    the book helped me see beyond the playful quotes and clowning to the man inside
    he sadly burned for the opportunity to just show the world what he could do
    he felt sorry, not for himself but for those that never got to see him play



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Wyoming, MI, United States 05-03-14
    Brad Wyoming, MI, United States 05-03-14
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    "Good story about a baseball icon."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this title to a friend. I found it very insightful into the life of a great baseball player.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I would have loved to listen to this in one sitting, but I just don't have that kind of time.


    Any additional comments?

    There were a few places where some of the audio was missing, the editing was bad, and there were a few repeated lines. It looks like this book has been out for a few years and I was surprised that they haven't corrected these issues yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fausto Miramar, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-29-13
    Fausto Miramar, United States Minor Outlying Islands 01-29-13
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    "Amazing Story! Well written book!"

    More than baseball, this book presents an outstanding portrayal of the qualities required to endure difficulties and work around the most outrages regimes to find success in the hands that are been dealt to us.
    Amazing talent or not, Satchel Paige fought until the end and got in life, early or late, what was initially denied to him and others despite of preexisting limiting conditions.
    While racial bias and its consequences are powerful drags, lack of personal will to rule over those conditions is also a force to reckon with. Satchel will and determination proved to be the right ingredients to advance his personal interest and, by extension, that of an entire generation of segregated individuals.
    At the end, understandably, the scares from all those fights caught up with him sadly turning the living legend into a bitter old man. Health issues probably played a big role in that too.
    This is a great book for sports' fans and anyone looking for examples of how others have overcome adversity by fighting with the tools circumstances allow and never finding excuses in themselves or the surrounding conditions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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