The new Satchel Paige biography sounds really, really good:

How fast could Satchel Paige throw a baseball? It’s hard to know because there were no radar guns to measure ball velocity when Leroy Paige, better known as Satchel, became a pitching star of the Negro Leagues in the 1930s. In his discerning, empathetic and hype-free new Paige biography, Larry Tye cites the eyewitness account of one of the white reporters who finally began paying attention to Paige in 1934: “All you can see is something like a thin line of pipe smoke” . . . Mr. Tye’s willingness to come to these or any other level-headed conclusions about his subject is made remarkable by the elusiveness of hard facts . . .

. . . radiates an obvious affection for Mr. Paige, but his is not a fan’s unquestioning love. He sees the aloofness beneath the crowd-pleasing charm, the caginess behind the exaggerated sang-froid and the selfishness behind the self-promotion. “Satchel” succeeds in putting these attributes into perspective. “Why did Satchel feel the need to inflate?” Mr. Tye asks about all those apocryphal Paige stories. “He did it because reshaping history was intoxicating and empowering.”

I could read tall tales about Paige all day, but it will be really really nice to read a levelheaded account of the man’s life that gives us some insight into Paige the man as opposed to heavy helpings of Paige the myth.

Only 29 shopping days until my birthday in case anyone, you know, is hurting for ideas.

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  1. Frank said...

    We were all planning on convincing Francoeur to sit out the rest of the season so he could be fresh for next year as your present, but we can reconsider.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    That’s a nice thought, Frank, but I’ll take the book and keep wishing for Francoeur to be traded to the Mexican Leagues for the modern equivalent of German Jimenez.

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    There shouldn’t be.  I fully expect that all 11 readers of this blog will buy me SOMETHING, even if it’s just jewelry or wine or something. I mean, I’m not picky.

  4. Taylor said...

    There is a really good interview with the author on this past week’s “Only A Game” broadcast as well as an episode of “Fresh Air” last week.

  5. Daniel said...

    To be honest, Craig, I was going to get you the Comfort Wipe.  Sorry.

    Warning: I’m about to try to post an html link.  If it fails, I apologize.

  6. Dave Studeman said...

    FWIW, I’ll have a book review of the Satchel book on THT in about a week.  I’m a slow reader…

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