Hardy: At Malloy Conference, Satchel Paige’s story parallels mythological heroes

From Christian Hardy at the Kansas City Star on July 9, 2016:

In the early years of Robert Paige’s life, he never saw his father, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, as anything but a normal father. Robert thought all the men who fixed the family’s car, house or worked at the store played baseball.

While it took Robert years to fully realize what Satchel did for baseball and the color barrier in America, others have seen him a hero since the beginning.

Ruby Berryman, a playwright with a master’s degree from Spalding University, took that “hero” title one step further, placing Satchel’s life and a baseball narrative among the lives of mythological Greek heroes.

“By placing Satchel Paige’s hero’s journey on a baseball diamond of myth structure, we can observe how he traveled,” Berryman said in her presentation at the SABR Malloy Negro League Conference on Saturday in Overland Park. “From his ordinary world through the special world of baseball and home again.”

To Berryman, the connections between baseball and theater are everywhere. In fact, that link was the reason she fell in love with baseball in the first place. In every pitch, every out, every inning — there was drama, and it was all on a stage in front of thousands of people.

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Originally published: July 13, 2016. Last Updated: July 13, 2016.