1948: Satch’s First Major League Start

Tuesday August 3, 1948

The (probably) 42-year-old star of the Negro Leagues became a very old major league rookie with the Cleveland Indians in 1948. He made eight appearances for the Indians in the month of July, and made such a good accounting for himself that he got his first major league start against the Nationals on August 3, in the thick of a rare pennant race for Cleveland.

A crowd of 72,434 turned out for the game, which at the time was the largest crowd for a night game ever in the city of Cleveland. The Nats scored a couple of runs early, but Paige was able to hang in. His team finally scored him some runs in the middle innings, and when Old Satch was lifted for a pinch-hitter after seven innings of work he had allowed three runs on seven hits – though four of those hits were described as “bleeders” by The Sporting News. The Indians went on to win the game 5-3, and Paige earned his second major league victory.

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