#88 RHP Satchel Paige (1948-1949)
At age “41,” Leroy “Satchel” Paige became the first black pitcher in the American League. That year, Paige pitched in relief and helped the Indians to a championship in 1948. Over the next 4 years, he’d pitch for the Indians and St. Louis Browns, and came back in 1965 to pitch 3 innings for the Kansas City Athletics before finally retiring.
Unfortunately, by the time Paige was allowed into the majors, his best years were behind him. But even at an advanced age, Paige was a fine pitcher; during his first season in Cleveland, he went 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA out of the bullpen. However, his true greatness was spent with the Negro Leagues and in the Domincan Republic and Mexico. He was the biggest draw wherever he went, and his salary eclipsed most major leaguers’. His arsenal of pitches baffled hitters for five decades.
In 1971, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.