August 2018 Summer Classic Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/1/2018
If it were not for baseball's exclusionary color line, we would be placing the names of Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige alongside those of Babe Ruth and Christy Mathewson. Unlike Gibson, however, Leroy "Satchel" Paige did get a taste of the major leagues, albeit at the back end of his fabled career. Signed by owner Bill Veeck's Cleveland Indians in 1948, the 42-year-old "rookie" pitcher went 6-1 for the Tribe, and along with fellow Negro League alumnus Larry Doby, helped lead Cleveland to a World Series title, the franchise's first since 1920. Though he won only 28 games in the bigs, Paige's pre-MLB pitching exploits were the stuff of legend. His professional baseball career began in 1927, and for the better part of three decades he was one of the top draws in the Negro Southern Association and the Negro National League. Ever the showman—Satchel sometimes wore a false red beard when on the mound—the fireballer barnstormed across the country, always in search of a better payday to showcase his exceptional talents. Following his retirement from pro ball at the incredible age of 59, Paige was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. Commenting on the inferior status accorded him due to race, the pitcher noted that, "the only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second class citizen to a second class immortal."

Unfortunately, due to the short duration of his Major League Baseball career, Paige has precious few baseball cards. In fact, his PSA Master Set contains just six cards, a fraction of the total number of entries for his Cooperstown contemporaries. Offered here is a gorgeous example of the lanky hurler's 1949 Bowman card, #224 in the classic set. Technically Paige's sophomore issue, this is the first card of the great pitcher that was not shortprinted, as was his 1948 Leaf rookie. The example up for bids has been graded NM-MT 8 by PSA, and exhibits clean surfaces, four solid corners, and a clearly registered portrait of Paige donning his Indians cap and jersey. As time goes on, more and more collectors are becoming appreciative of the Negro Leaguers and their immense contributions to the National Pastime. As a result, the value of key cards of pioneers such as Satchel Paige have experienced tremendous growth in the past decade and will continue to do so for as long as the American Republic stands.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $7,911
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Saturday, September 1, 2018.
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