AUGUST 6, 1952 | ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Satchel Paige got a rare start on this date in 1952, and ended up in one of the greatest pitching duels of all-time.
Despite the consensus among players, black and white, who played with and against him that he was the greatest pitcher of his day, Paige didn’t make the majors until after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.
Paige had been playing professional baseball in the Negro Leagues since the mid-1920’s. He was finally invited to play for the Cleveland Indians in 1948. He was 41.
Paige pitched mostly relief. But on August 6, 1952, now with the St. Louis Browns, he got the start against Detroit Tiger right-hander Virgil Trucks. They were two cagey veterans; though Paige had 10 years on Trucks. Virgil was 35 years old. Satchel was 45.
They matched each other pitch for pitch, inning for inning. Trucks pitched 9 scoreless innings. Paige pitched 12 and won 1-0.
Satchel Paige’s long overdue major league career lasted six seasons. He went 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his first year, helping the Cleveland Indians win the 1948 World Series. He retired in 1953 at the age of 46, but came back to pitch in one game in 1965 at the age of 58. His career mark was 28-31, but three of those years were with the Browns who usually lost 100 games a year. He finished with a career Earned Run Average of 3.29.
August 6, 1952 Tigers vs Browns game stats