Baltimore Black Sox Satchel Paige Bobblehead Unveiled
28 Dec, 2020
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled a limited-edition bobblehead of Satchel Paige in a Baltimore Black Sox uniform. Part of the “Negro Leagues Special Edition” collection, Paige is one of multiple players available and the Baltimore Black Sox bobblehead is one of five featuring Paige, the most famous player in the history of the Negro Leagues. The bobbleheads were produced exclusively by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with NegroLeaguesHistory.com.
Dressed in a white uniform with Black Sox across the front and a black cap just like he wore in 1930, the Paige bobblehead is on the mound as he unleashes a pitch. Paige’s name is on the base of the bobblehead. Each bobblehead is individually numbered to 250 and they are only available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store and ready to ship. The bobbleheads are $35 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. A set of five is $155.
Other Paige bobbleheads in the collection are wearing uniforms of the Birmingham Black Barons (1930), Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932), Bismarck (1935) and Kansas City Monarchs (1945).
The Baltimore Black Sox, who were active from 1913 to 1936, started as an independent team and were one of the six original teams to make up the Eastern Colored League from 1923 to 1928. As a member of the Birmingham Black Barons, Paige played for Santa Clara in the Cuban League in the winter of 1929. When he returned to the United States, Birmingham owner R.T. Jackson and Paige revived their practice of renting the star pitcher out to various teams. In the spring of 1930, Jackson leased Paige to the independent Baltimore Black Sox, who had won the 1929 American Negro League championship, for a fee split with Paige.
While with Baltimore, the 23-year-old Paige faced major league players for the first time. Reportedly, his first strikeout victim was Hack Wilson, who would set an MLB record with 191 RBI later that summer. As a Southerner, Paige found that he was an outsider on the Black Sox, and his teammates considered him a hick. In addition, he was the team’s No. 2 pitcher behind Lamon Yokely, and Paige did not like being overshadowed. Paige posted a 3-1 record in limited duty.
The well-traveled Paige was known for his longevity and attracting record crowds whenever he pitched. Larger-than-life thanks to his blistering fastball and legendary showboating, Paige dominated for four decades. In 1971, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the first electee of the Negro League Committee. In his debut MLB season in 1948, he was the first player who had played in the Negro Leagues to pitch in the World Series as he helped the Cleveland Indians win the title.
After first playing for the semi-professional Mobile Tigers, his hometown team, from 1924-26, Paige began his professional career in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts in 1926. During his career in the Negro Leagues, Paige played for the Black Barons (1927-30), Black Sox (1930), Cleveland Cubs (1931), Crawfords (1932-34, 1936), Monarchs (1935, 1939-47), New York Black Yankees (1941), Memphis Red Sox (1943) and Philadelphia Stars (1946 and 1950) and was a five-time All-Star.
At age 42, the lanky right-hander was the oldest major league rookie in 1948 with the Indians. After two seasons in Cleveland, Paige played with the St. Louis Browns for three seasons until age 47, and represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953. In 1965 at age 59, Paige was signed by the Kansas City Athletics for one late-season game and limited the Boston Red Sox to one hit in three innings. Along with saying that he “thrilled millions of people and won hundreds of games,” his Hall of Fame plaque states, “His pitching was a legend among major league hitters.”
"Our Negro Leagues Special Edition collection is one that we are incredibly proud of,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “The collection would not be complete without multiple bobbleheads of Satchel Paige, including one from his time spent in Baltimore.”
The bobblehead is part of 16 that the Museum unveiled today as part of the Negro Leagues Special Edition Bobblehead series commemorating the Negro Leagues Centennial. In addition to the Satchel Paige Baltimore bobblehead, a bobblehead of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson commemorating the 1942 Negro Leagues World Serie and four other special edition Satchel Paige Bobbleheads are being introduced featuring the star in his Bismarck, Birmingham Black Barons, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Kansas City Monarchs road jerseys. Four special edition Josh Gibson Bobbleheads feature the star in his Homestead Grays, Santurce, Veracruz and Concordia jerseys. The first Negro Leagues bobblehead of Minnie Minoso, the first bobblehead of Elston Howard and a special edition bobblehead of Rube Foster were also unveiled.
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st. St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals and teams across the country. Visit us onlineand on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.
About the Negro Leagues:
The first successful Negro League was founded by Rube Foster on February 13, 1920 at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City. Foster believed an organized league structured like Major League Baseball would lead to eventual integration of the sport and racial reconciliation. Foster did not live to see his dream come true. Others picked up his cause and in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line. Prior to 1920, African American players played on independent teams throughout the country, usually barnstorming to cities and towns, large and small.
About Dreams Fulfilled:
Dreams Fulfilled was organized to promote the Negro National League Centennial in 2020. Its founder, Jay Caldwell, has been selected by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the primary exhibitor for an art and artifact exhibition at the museum running between February 13 and July 31, 2020. Dreams Fulfilled is exhibiting 300 original pieces of art honoring Negro League players and nearly 100 artifacts of African American baseball dating back to 1871. Visit us at www.NegroLeaguesHistory.comor www.facebook.com/NegroLeaguesHistory. In addition to this card set, Dreams Fulfilled sells Negro Leagues bobbleheads developed in partnership with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. Currently 55 are available for sale. Dreams Fulfilled also sells postcard sets, refrigerator magnets, t-shirts and coffee mugs.
About the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum:
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s first museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America. The NLBM operates one block from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster founded the Negro National League in 1920. In 2006, the NLBM was designated as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” by the United States Congress.