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'Satchel': Confronting Racism One Fastball At A Time

Journalist Larry Tye is the author of <em>Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class</em>.
Journalist Larry Tye is the author of <em>Rising from the Rails: Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class</em>.

Journalist Larry Tye details the life and times of negro league pitcher Satchel Paige in the new biography Satchel.

Paige was a dazzling pitcher with a scorching fastball. A decade before Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major league baseball, Paige helped integrate the sport by touring the country and playing exhibition games with white players.

He delighted crowds by throwing a fastball repeatedly over a matchbook or a postage stamp set on home page. But despite his talents, Paige was repeatedly passed over because of his race.

In 1971, Paige was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first player to make the hall based on his career in the Negro Leagues.

Fresh Air guest host Dave Davies conducts this interview.

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