Mind Over Matter: Satchel Paige’s MLB Debut

On July 9, 1948, one of the greatest pitchers of all time made his Major League Baseball debut. Satchel Paige (1906–1982), a longtime star in the Negro leagues, was no ordinary rookie. He was 42 and finally getting his shot at the big leagues.

“Age is a question of mind over matter,” Paige once said. “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

The hurler made the most of his opportunity, making 21 appearances in 1948. He finished the regular season with a 6-1 record and a 2.48 ERA. Paige helped the Cleveland Indians win the World Series, pitching 2/3 scoreless innings during the Fall Classic.

One of the most quotable players in baseball history, Paige was known for his wisdom. One of his most famous lines—”Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”—is often repeated today.

In 2000, Paige appeared on the U.S. Postal Service’s Legends of Baseball stamp issuance. The pane featured 20 Baseball Hall of Famers. He also appears in Play Ball! A Celebration of Baseball’s Greatest Moments. The 40-page softbound book, along with the Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, are available for pre-order now!

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