His major league career was short and so, too, is the list of original Satchel Paige photographs from his earliest days pitching for Cleveland.
Finding images of him batting in the big leagues? Even harder.
Nevertheless, one such photo has come to auction. Originating in the archives of the Cleveland News and from the camera of their long-time photographer Perry Cragg comes this shot of Satchel taking a cut during a Tribe night game.
The photo shows the long-time Negro Leagues sensation taking a cut during a night game at Municipal Stadium.
Cragg began his career with the News in 1920, capturing countless moments with his camera for over 30 years. It’s clear from the photo that he took full advantage of what was common decades ago: photographers stationed on the playing field, just steps from the batter’s box.
The 8×10 image shows little impact from a long life in storage with no creasing or other issues. It is one of the attractions in RMY Auctions’ January catalog, which runs through Saturday.
After signing with Cleveland on his 42nd birthday, Paige made his big league debut on July 9, 1948. His ten week debut was a smashing success. He won six games, lost one, tossed two shutouts, struck out 43 and had an ERA of 2.48, helping draw big crowds as the Tribe moved toward the American League pennant. He pitched two-thirds of an inning during Cleveland’s six-game victory over the Boston Braves, still the last time the city was able to celebrate a World Series championship team.