Jeff Faraudo of the San Jose Mercury News writes of a story out of baseball’s forgotten lore, a matchup between Joe DiMaggio and Satchel Paige.
Joe DiMaggio was a prospect, a promising one for sure, but he still was two months shy of making his New York Yankees spring-training debut.
Leroy “Satchel” Paige was a Negro Leagues pitching sensation whose exploits seemed the stuff of myth until they actually were seen.
On a Sunday afternoon, Jan. 26, 1936, at the Oaks Ball Park in Emeryville, the two future Hall of Famers crossed paths in a fascinating but seldom told chapter of their legendary careers.
DiMaggio, 21 at the time, wasn’t the stoic Yankee Clipper yet.
Paige, 29 and in the prime of his career, played mostly in the game’s shadows. He wouldn’t make his major league debut for 12 more years.
The game, as Faraudo describes it, was quite the battle, pitting big leaguers against two Negro league players and a crew of players from the Oakland playgrounds. Paige, unsurprisingly, stole the show, allowing just one run on three hits through nine innings while driving in his team’s only run. DiMaggio was hitless until the 10th, when he slapped a single up the middle for the winning run.
After you finish taking in that memory, come back for the open thread. In local sports, the Devils are up in Ottawa, the Islanders host Washington, and the Knicks host the Wolves.