February 9, 1971
Satchel Paige Named to Baseball Hall of Fame
On this date in 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player selected for the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. as Major League Baseball began acknowledging the star players from the years before the game was integrated.
Paige began his professional career with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1927, and is considered one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. In 1948, he finally advanced to the major leagues and helped pitch the Cleveland Indians to the pennant. (Paige gave his age as 42 when he signed with the Indians, the oldest big-league "rookie" ever, up to that time. But Paige himself was unsure about the year of his birth, and in 1948 he may actually have been older than 42.)