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Satchel: The Life and Times of an American…

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Larry Tye

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2361048,914 (3.7)25
Title:Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend
Authors:Larry Tye
Info:Random House (2009), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Sports, Wishlist

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Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye (2009)


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As a baseball fan this was a very enjoyable book for me. I enjoyed learning about Satchel Paige who was a fantastic ball player who pushed the boundaries his entire life.

Living in Kansas City and knowing the President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, I've heard stories over the years about the Monarchs, Satchel Paige and Buck O'Neil. Buck was a supporter of the organization where I work and I missed meeting him by a few months. So, I recognize several names in this book. If you are in Kansas City, love baseball, stop by the Museum, it has a lot of fascinating history.

This book does jump around a lot but it has so much history and information that I want to know more about Satchel and about the Negro Leagues. Glad I found this on the shelf at the library. If you like baseball and the history of baseball, definitely pick this up. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
A pretty good biography about Satchel Paige. I would have liked more about Paige's and other Negro League players' struggles with racism and Jim Crow, though. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Finally!... A fully-satisfying bio of the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Accurate info on Mr. Paige is notoriously scarce, but Tye peels away the mythology to give us a flesh-and-blood portrait of a man who was ultimately worthy of his larger-than-life stature. The truth about Satchel's exploits is often better than the glorified re-tellings.

The book is an amazing look at life in Jim Crow America and the fascinating sub-culture of barnstorming and the Negro Leagues. It's also an excellent treatise on talent, race, publicity, loyalty, and sport. I found this book to be funny, exhilarating, heartbreaking, and poignant.

A remarkable achievement. ( )
  JohnHastie | Apr 5, 2013 |
Some of my first books were juvenile sports biographies. When my class would go to the school library, I would pour over the section and read about Franco Harris and Jim Brown (no I am not that old, but the library was small). I think my favorite was reading about Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception. These stories are very white washed of controversy. As in the Harris case, it has been claimed that his reception was illegal, but the referee was not about to tell a screaming capacity crowd of Pittsburgh Steeler fans that they lost the game on his ruling with only half a dozen security guards.

Much of what I have learned about Satchel Paige is in the same regard. It focused on his legendary pitching skills, his sayings, his personality, and his age, but never covered race. This biography of Paige tells the whole story. It also cuts through a great deal of mythology on the pitcher, finding his real age, his first start in Negro baseball, his rotator cuff injury that almost finished his career, and most shockingly, even though baseball was integrated, the Cleveland Indians ball club did not want him on the team and penalized him for problems that were more the fault of Jim Crow than his.

Intergration in Baseball, like Civil Rights, was not welcome, and those in the league tried to find other methods to push these new players out. Even though do many played in the Negro Leagues for so long, it was no guarantee that they would stay in the majors. It is also further shocking that many of these players, when their playing days were over, went to menial jobs like janitors and were left in poverty and forgotten from history. In fact it was only Satchel Paige's personality and his timeless arm that prevented the same for him. His stint in the majors was relatively shortlived when compared to his decades playing baseball. I think that another mythology from the book was his speed.
Others in the league were faster, but he was smarter, more accurate, and honed those skills more carefully than others realized. Many weren't just blown away, although early on most were, but were outsmarted.

Overall, this is the best biography on Satchel Paige and one of the best I've ever read. It isn't just about Sachel, but cuts through his mythology so we can truly appreciate the amazing man he was without question. ( )
  shadowofthewind | Aug 28, 2012 |
Excellent story. Well-written. Impressive research. ( )
  bogopea | Aug 18, 2012 |
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To Buck O'Neil, Silas Simmons, and the other Negro League veterans who enthusiastically shared with me their stories about Satchel but did not live to see them told.
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Satchel Paige entered the world as Leroy Robert Paige.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A portrait of the Negro League pitcher and pioneer in the integration of baseball evaluates the role of discrimination in limiting his career, the Jim Crow biases that prevented his signing with the big leagues until he was in his forties, and his lasting legacy.… (more)

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