In recognition of February’s designation as Black History Month, we are focusing our Cover the Bases podcast on books that have been written about the Negro Leagues, and some of the legendary players who had an impact on the game of baseball on and off the diamond.   There can be no better place to start than talking about Satchel Paige.

Our guest this episode is Larry Tye, author of the book Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend.  The book is published by Random House and is currently available in hardcover or Kindle versions.

One of the immediate challenges Larry faced when writing this book was quantifying the accomplishments of Satchel Paige, especially since record keeping and historical information was not as diligently kept in that era.

He did some painstaking analysis attempting to determine the total number of games that Satchel pitched, so he chose the major league record holder Jesse Orosco as a comparison.  Orosco appeared in 1252 games, and as Larry explains, that accomplishment generally occurred between April and October.  Satchel pitched “from April to April” and based upon his legendary status was expected to appear in any game that his team was scheduled to play.  Based upon his research, Larry has determined Satchel appeared in approximately 2500 games.

Larry also came to the conclusion that the claims that Satchel made regarding wins, shoutouts, no-hitters .. all of the big pitching categories .. would have set or broken major league records, had he not been excluding from playing there until the end of his career.

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