Rare 1948 Color Video of Satchel Paige Found on Movie Director's Estate

Jim MorisetteCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2012

Tom Bartsch/Sports Collector's Digest
Tom Bartsch/Sports Collector's Digest

For many baseball fans, catching a glimpse of diamond heroes creates happy memories that are unshakable from the human psyche.

Mine being the time I met Atlanta Braves hurler Steve Avery, I can only imagine what baseball fans fans are feeling after seeing recently released and rare video of pitching legend Satchel Paige on the hill in 1948.  

According to NESN writer Zach Stoloff, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Film Archive discovered a 16mm video of Paige pitching in a 1948 exhibition game. This film, found on the estate of filmmaker Richard Brooks, was taken at a minor league field in Los Angeles.

You can watch the video below. 

While footage of Paige in this film was in the twilight of his career, I wonder how great this must be for older generations (who were kids then) to see actual color footage of one of the most iconic hurlers of that time.

Even for regular baseball fans, it has to be pretty neat.

I had always heard of Satchel Paige. One of the first baseball books I ever read as a kid had a picture of the legend in his Kansas City Monarch’s uniform.

But to see color video of Paige is truly surreal. It brings this seemingly mythological being to real-life.

A tall, lanky fireballer, Paige barnstormed the western world, entertaining fans for nearly 40 years with batter-baffling pitches...pitches he often gave nicknames to. 

According to Cool Papa Bell, Paige “made a living by throwing the ball to a spot over the plate the size of a matchbook.”

A five-time Negro League All-Star and a two-time MLB All-Star, Paige was a colorful comic who trumped racism and segregation to earn a 232-89 career record.

Per Paige’s Baseball Hall of Fame Bio, he is the oldest player to make his Major League debut at age 42. This occurred with the Indians in 1948, the same year Cleveland won the World Series.

It was also the same year this historic video was filmed.  

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