Rose: Satchel Paige’s three weeks as a Portland Beaver

From Joseph Rose at The Oregonian on August 26, 2015:

Vince Pesky remembers how Satchel Paige stood like a titan on the mound at Multnomah Stadium.    

The towering pitcher emerged from dust and mist under stadium lights on a cool September night in 1961, Pesky recalled. Paige’s shoulders slouched slightly, the whites of his aging eyes peering out from under a wool Portland Beavers cap.

At age 55, he hadn’t abandoned his famous hesitation pitch, kicking his foot toward the sky to baffle batters before unleashing the ball.

“Satchel was still all gangly arms, long legs and passion, throwing bullets at more than 90 mph over the plate,” recalled Pesky, a 94-year-old retired Portland baseball player and high school coach.

In the collective memories of Portland’s suffering baseball fans, Leroy “Satchel” Paige’s 19 days in the Rose City in 1961 are rose-colored, tinted by their bottomless wishes for another time, another team. But the reality wasn’t so bright.


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Originally published: August 26, 2015. Last Updated: August 26, 2015.