Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1968 Topps Satchel Paige

I was surprised to come across this picture of Satchel Paige. I didn't know that he was on the Braves, so I did a little research and there is an interesting story involved with this. 

In 1968 the owner of the Braves, William Bartholomay, hired Satchel as a Pitcher-Trainer-Coach. He didn't do any training, and he never pitched in the regular season because his eyesight had deteriorated that the Brave were afraid he would not be able to react to a come-backer. It was also said that he did most of his coaching from his rocking chair in Kansas City. The real reason he was there was right on his jersey. #65. The age when MLB retirement benefits kick in. At that time you needed 5 years of MLB duty to qualify and Paige was 158 days short.

"Satchel Paige is one of the greatest pitcher of all time. Baseball would be guilty of negligence should it not assure this legendary figure a place in the pension plan."
- William Bartholomay, Owner Atlanta Braves


  1. Neat story. You did a great job on the card.

  2. You made a great card out of that rare picture. The story reminds me of what Bouton wrote in hos book Ball Four. The Pilots made a coaching spot for Sibby Sisti so that he could qualify for the same pension benefit.

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  4. I am so pleased that you gave Satchel Paige the credit he was due. What a legend!!
    I am also happy to see my father's name associated with this story.
    My father, Bill Bartholomay, was determined to see one of the TRUE GREATS in baseball history be recognized and gave him the opportunity to "work" in baseball; Not just wither into history. Satchel was a man of dignity. He was afforded a chance to retire in a befiitting and DIGNIFIED manner.
    I am SO proud of my Dad...and so pleased that Satchel was able to live out his days as a working man in baseball.
    I am so proud of my Father. I am so proud that he recognized Satchel and put him to, "work" in baseball so that he was able to earn the pension he so richly deserved!!