Satchel Paige Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Satchel Paige Net Worth 

Satchel Paige had an estimated net worth of $10 million at death. A trailblazing player in the Negro Leagues, baseball pitcher Satchel Paige also became the oldest rookie in Major League history and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. He earned most of his income from his career as a baseball player. 

In reform school, Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige honed his pitching skills. He began his professional baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1926, after being denied entry to the Major Leagues, and became its most famous showman. Paige made his Major League debut as a 42-year-old rookie and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

To calculate the net worth of Satchel Paige, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Satchel Paige
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand+
Annual Income: $2 Million
Source of Wealth: Baseball player

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Early Life

Satchel Paige was born Leroy Robert Page in Mobile, Alabama, around July 7, 1906. He was the seventh of twelve children born to gardener father John and washerwoman mother Lula. Lula added the I to their surname not long before Paige began his illustrious career; he claimed she changed it to sound “high-tone.”

Paige claims that his mother assigned him to carry luggage for businessmen at the train station, but he was dissatisfied with the meager pay. So he rigged a pole to carry multiple bags at once in order to increase his pay, and his coworkers allegedly told him, “You look like a walking satchel tree,” hence his unusual nickname.

Paige “enrolled” in reform school at the age of 12 after a run-in with the law involving petty theft and truancy. But his time at Mount Meigs Industrial School for Negro Children in Alabama may have been a blessing in disguise. Coach Edward Byrd recognized his baseball talent, along with big hands and feet on his long, lanky frame—he would grow to 6’4″—as assets that could be developed.

Paige was taught by Byrd to pull back, kick his foot high in the air, and then, as he came down, bring his arm from behind and thrust his hand forward as he released the ball, giving it maximum power as it sailed forward. “You could say I traded five years of freedom to learn how to pitch,” Paige later said.

Professional Baseball Career

Paige began his professional career in the Negro Southern League in 1926, as African American players were barred from the Major Leagues. His performance with the Birmingham Black Barons was noticed, and he quickly rose through the ranks of the Negro National League teams, becoming a popular draw among fans.

Paige played for teams from California to Maryland to North Dakota, as well as in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Paige built quite a following between contracts by barnstorming tours, which consisted of exhibition games against other professionals and regional talent for extra money. In one such game, he was hired to lead the “Satchel Paige All-Stars,” and he ended up pitching to New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio, who dubbed him “the best and fastest pitcher I’ve ever faced.”

Paige also competed in a series of exhibition games against St. Louis Cardinals ace Dizzy Dean, winning four of them. “If Satch and I were pitching on the same team,” Dean said later, “we’d clinch the pennant by the fourth of July and go fishing until World Series time.”

One disadvantage of all this traveling and team-jumping was a lack of statistics, as there could be a shortage of statisticians or record keepers even in official Negro League games. According to some accounts, Paige had 31 wins and only four losses in 1933, as well as streaks of 64 scoreless innings and 21 straight victories. Paige insisted on keeping his own records and claimed to have pitched in over 2,500 games and won 2,000 or so, as well as playing for 250 teams and throwing 250 shutouts, figures that dwarf those of Major League pitchers.

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Major League Recognition

Paige’s dream came true in 1948. With Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the major leagues and the Cleveland Indians in need of pitching, owner Bill Veeck gave the veteran Negro Leaguer a tryout. Veeck reportedly told Paige to think of the cigarette as home plate before throwing five fastballs, all but one of which sailed directly over the cigarette.

Paige made his Major League debut on July 7, 1948, at the age of 42, and was the first Negro League pitcher in the American League. Paige, who drew large crowds when he pitched, went 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA in half a season, helping the Indians win the World Series. He pitched one more season with Cleveland before joining the St. Louis Browns for three years.

Paige, despite his age, continued to tour on a regular basis for large appearance fees. On September 25, 1965, at the age of 59, he became the oldest player in Major League history, pitching three scoreless innings and allowing only one hit for the Kansas City Athletics. He finished his major league career with a record of 28-31, 32 saves, and a 3.29 ERA.

Death and Legacy

Paige, one of baseball’s most famous black players, led the kind of life where myth and reality became inextricably linked. According to legend, he was once served divorce papers as he walked out to the mound at Wrigley Field, and he once pitched for Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo’s team to decide the outcome of an election. Paige was known for his hard fastballs and signature “hesitation” pitch, but he could do whatever he wanted with the ball.

Paige wrote a couple of autobiographies, including Maybe I’ll Pitch Forever: A Great Baseball Player Tells the Hilarious Story Behind the Legend, in which he secretly lamented not being the first Black Major Leaguer instead of Robinson, but he bore it with grace.

Despite his incredible longevity, Paige rarely discussed his age, frequently quoting Mark Twain: “Age is a mental rather than physical issue. It doesn’t matter if you don’t mind.”

On June 8, 1982, less than a month before his 76th birthday, the legendary pitcher died of a heart attack in Kansas City, Missouri.

Further Reading

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