Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige
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Annotation: Examines the life of the legendary baseball player, who was the first African-American to pitch in a Major League World Series.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #6050220
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2000
Edition Date: 2000
Illustrator: Ransome, James E.,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-689-81151-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-689-81151-7
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 97013790
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
This picture-book biography captures the immensely talented and individualistic Leroy "Satchel" Paige to the life, seeming--thanks to conversational prose and spectacle-filled pictures--barely able to contain the force of his gift and personality. Cline-Ransome, for all her leisurely down-home style and sheer comfort in storytelling, nonetheless packs the text with valuable information about both Paige and the world of baseball.
Kirkus Reviews
Few characters in sports have so vivid or memorable a personality as Satchel Paige, even in the era of Michael Jordan; Cline-Ransome's storytelling captures that personality with the rhythms of a folktale, while her husband's oil paintings are strong and sure. Paige was a natural-born pitcher, expert from a very early age. This well-written biography begins with his childhood, where his job of carrying luggage for passengers at the Mobile, Alabama train station earned him his nickname. He learned baseball in "reform school," where he was sent after getting caught stealing, and was a star in the Negro Leagues with greats such as Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson. He was over 40 when he finally got his chance in the majors, but was the first African-American to pitch in a World Series. The green and gold of the field, the long, tall image of Satchel in his uniform against a deep blue sky, and the bodies of baseball players coiled or unleashed make a fine counterpoint to the lyrical telling. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Publishers Weekly

PW called this informal, anecdotal profile of the first black pitcher to play in the major leagues and the first black inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame "a fitting tribute to a baseball hero." Ages 6-10. (Jan.)

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-"Some say Leroy Paige was born six feet three and a half inches tall, 180 pounds, wearing a size fourteen shoe. Not a bit of truth to it." So begins this unaffected biography of the first African-American pitcher to play major league baseball and the first black Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. Written with a storyteller's sense of rhythm and pacing, Paige's history will be best appreciated as a read-aloud. For example, describing life on the road, "From the first breath of spring till the cool rush of fall he would ride. Sometimes he joined his teammates on rickety old buses, bumping along on back roads studded with potholes so deep, players would have to hold on to their seats (and stomachs) just to keep from spilling into the aisles." Paige's frustration and anger with the limitations imposed on black players are mentioned, but emphasis is placed on his talents, popularity, and success. Ransome's rich oil illustrations establish a sense of time and place, reflecting the determination and excitement the man brought to the game. An obvious choice as a biography for younger readers and definitely of interest to baseball fans of all ages, this book is a worthy addition for any collection.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The Satchel Paige story remains one of baseball's most resonant: the king of the Negro Leagues, Satchel pitched longer, threw harder, and struck out more batters than anyone in any league, black or white. His status as a mythic hero was only enhanced by his swagger, his Ali-like banter (I'm gonna throw a pea at your knee), and his imposing stature on the mound (His foot looked to be about a mile long, and when he shot it into the air, it seemed to block out the sun). Cline-Ransome plays up the mythic elements of the Paige story in her rollicking narrative, while Ransome's paintings jump off the page with bright colors and startling contrasts. His portraits of Paige, standing tall on the mound or finishing off another strikeout, capture the man's larger-than-life presence with great immediacy, the perfect complement to his wife's text. A Coretta Scott King Award winner for The Creation (1994), Ransome is equally at home with popular culture. Satchel Paige is a wonderful folk hero, triumphant but never pious, and this delightful picture book for older readers does a fine job of keeping his story alive for a new generation of young people. (Reviewed December 15, 1999)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 2,517
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 35036 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.1 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q21640
Lexile: 1010L
Guided Reading Level: R
Fountas & Pinnell: R

Some say Leroy Paige was born with his right fist curled around a baseball. By the age of ten he could outthrow anyone, small or grown. When he wasn't toting baggage at the depot (that's how he earned money and the nickname "Satchel"), he was pitching. His coach at school told him, "You concentrate on baseball, and you might make something of yourself."
And that he did. Satchel Paige developed his own pitches (he even named them!) and a unique pitching style, complete with a grin he flashed as he released the ball. Fans packed the stands to see how many batters he could strike out in one game. They loved his confidence, his fast-talking, and the way he followed his own rules.
After just one year in the semi-pros Satch was playing in the Negro major leagues. He went on to become the first African American to pitch in a major league World Series, and the first black to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. By the time he died in 1982, he had enjoyed one of the longest and brightest careers in baseball history.
Lesa Cline-Ransome's spirited, folksy narrative and James Ransome's boldly colored, exciting paintings capture the challenges, rewards and, most of all, the unique brand of showmanship in the life of the tall, lean legend named Satchel Paige.

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