Open Thread: DiMaggio vs. Paige


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.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. I have five pages of work to write for my internship tonight. I really need to stop procrastinating.

  2. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Anyone else laughed out loud when the A’s signed Sheets? Not laughing at the A’s of course but at the Mutts.

    If they got Sheets and if he was healthy he would have probably made the Mets contenders. There is no way they even approach the Phillies with that rotation.

  3. vin says:

    Weird. I’m currently reading Posnanski’s Buck O’Neil book “The Soul of Baseball”… no more than an hour ago did I read stories about Satch.

    Also, on page 138:

    “…the man Joe DiMaggio had called the best pitcher he ever faced.”

    The famous “Nancy” story is worth checking out.

  4. mustang says:

    Why I’m happy NOT to be a Mets fan.

    Don’t ask me why, but all winter I have been defending the Mets to a Yankees fan friend of my who hates them. After today I quit how can a big market team lose out to the Giants (Bengie Molina), Padres (Jon Garland), and A’s (Ben Sheets)?
    Are they kidding me?
    They are going to suck and they deserve every single lost.
    Sooo happy I’m a Yankees fan.

  5. Riddle says:

    When do regular season tickets usually go on sale?

  6. I’ve got a bet on with someone who shall remain nameless that Damon signs with the Yanks by Thursday.

    Any takers?

  7. Accent Shallow says:

    I still can’t believe how no MLB team would take on a dominant force like Paige, color barrier or no color barrier. I guess that’s something I’ll just never be able to understand — the climate at the time.

    • Stu says:

      In 1943 Bill Veeck tried to buy the Phillies and then sign a team full of Negro League stars. The commissioner at the time (Kennisaw Mountain Landis)killed the deal. Before that the Pirates tried to sign Josh Gibson, a deal that was also killed. Didn’t matter how good a player was before 1947, sadly all that mattered was how dark they were.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        More people should read “Veeck as in Wreck.” Absolutely fascinating, and just plain fun. Definitely gave me more of an appreciation for baseball in the 40s-60s.

  8. Accent Shallow says:

    So . . . Newsday going behind the paywall was a great decision, huh?


    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      Yeah, I read that earlier. 35 subscribers. In fairness, it’s skewed because the content is available to Cablevision subscribers, which is pretty much all of Long Island. Still, it looks to be a big bag of FAIL.

    • Steve H says:

      I hope that opens the eyes of more newspapers who plan on making people pay. It’s the damn internet, if one paper is going to make me pay, I’ll go one of 100,000 other places to get the same damn news.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        This is upsetting my journalism degree.

      • A.D. says:

        Well a few of the big ones go pay wall, and it becomes a little harder to do that. There’s the free papers in plenty of cities, however papers still get sold. Same can be true of media on the internet.

    • vin says:

      My favorite part of that story:

      “The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they’ve grossed about $9,000.”

      • A.D. says:

        In the short time that the Dolans have owned Newsday, it’s been a circus.

        Hmmm remind you of anything else that the Dolan’s put their name on?

  9. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    Looking at the Mets’ rotation and their overall impressive run of incompetence, we may be able to send them Igawa for Jenry Meija.

    But seriously, what’s their 1-5?

    Santana, Maine, Perez, Niese, Pelfrey?


    • bexarama says:

      I think Niese/Nieve (I cannot keep them straight) is their #5 but yeah… yikes, that’s bad.

      They really should have gone for Sheets. I mean, everyone else on that team is injured, you might as well get someone that doesn’t suck when they’re not.

      • bexarama says:

        That said, they still might compete for the Wild Card because they have a good offense if Beltran plays and Wright figures out how to hit for power again, and it’s the NLOL. I don’t really think they’d make it to the playoffs because there are three better teams in their own division, and even if they did make it to the playoffs, I can’t see them getting past Round 1 with their awful pitching (minus Santana), but I don’t think they’ll be as totally embarrassing as they were last year.

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

          I’d be really surprised if the team makes it to the playoffs. Really surprised. They could have a legit lineup, but it really drops off after the core. Still, Castillo, Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Bay, Murphy, Francoeur, Blanco is a good NL lineup if healthy.

          Agreed that their division looks like the strongest in the NL next year, and on paper, the Mets don’t look even appear to be among the top three. That starting rotation looks bad. I mean really bad. The bullpen looks mediocre at best.

          The Mets are anywhere from total suckitude to mediocrity. But I think it would take a minor miracle for them to make the playoffs.

          I feel bad for Met fans.

    • pat says:

      If Escobar comes back healthy he could be pretty good in the NL.

  10. bexarama says:

    I recently read The Yankee Years.

    I don’t know who I want to punch more:
    1. Torre, for doing this while he’s still actively managing and just coming off dumb throughout the book. I love what he did for the Yankees but dude, you can’t claim you were SO AWESOME at ego-managing then make it sound like one of the best players in the history of the game (that’d be A-Rod) on your team was SOOOO HORRIBLE OH POOR YOU.
    2. Verducci, for the whole damn thing. The hypocrisy and Red Sox/Theo Epstein ballwashing throughout the whole book is ridiculous. Example, you can’t talk about how genius Theo is for signing guys with high on-base percentages, then turn Cashman into some sort of monster for wanting to put guys with high on-base percentages on top of the order. The only good thing is that now I get to laugh at Verducci on MLBN when he has to say nice things about Alex and Cashman like he did last night (talking about the BBWAA awards and A-Rod’s “what’s next, the Good Guy award?” line) and tonight (talking about the trade for Granderson).
    3. Myself for reading it, because I knew it would be like this. :|

    • Accent Shallow says:

      In all fairness, as right as Cashman may have been, I’d rather the GM stay out of on-field affairs (like lineups). If your manager insists on putting out a subpar lineup, either take those players away or fire him.

      • radnom says:

        Yes and no.

        I would rather my boss make suggestions for my improvement than fire me without warning or do something passive aggressive.

        I think it is reasonable for such discussions to take place, as long as it is a discussion and its kept out of the media.

  11. Dalelama says:

    Personal favorite retired Yankee you saw play? For me, Thurman Munson because he was so clutch and a leader, second place- Goose Gossage

  12. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    So Duanel Jones, $1.3 mil. 3B IFA signing by the Giants, has had his deal voided due to a failed drug test.

    I was wondering if anyone knew anything about him. Scouting reports and stuff?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I don’t know anything, but if he got seven figures, he’s super legit.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        Think the Yanks should take a long look? One would imagine they could probably get him and Cyclops Mateo for a total of $1.5 million or less, right?

        • Hughesus Christo says:

          So you hear “failed drug test” and get excited, eh?

          • No.

            I hear “contract voided” and get excited, however.

            11 teams passed on Warren Sapp and 19 teams passed on Randy Moss because they failed drug tests. Ask those teams if they regret those choices.

            • Hughesus Christo says:

              Do you have any idea what the drug was? GIVE ME YOUR SOURCES.

              I’m going to go out on a crazy limb and say it wasn’t the ganj.

              • I’m going to go out on a crazier limb and say I don’t really care.

                He’s a talent. Sign him. If it turns out he’s an irredemable psychopath cokehead, cut him later.

                • Hughesus Christo says:


                • Futhermore, how old is the kid? Somewhere between 15-19? Experimenting with drugs at that age should not be a life sentence of “This kid is a bad apple, stay the hell away”.

                  Kids make mistakes and do dumb shit. Many of them stop doing dumb shit as they get older.

                  An teen IFA failing a drug test isn’t enough to make me stay away.

                • Hughesus Christo says:

                  What if he is on Venom. Would you be okay with that? Where is your conscience?


                • I think he’d need to stab a guy or something to be not worth pursuing.

                  Any drug, even steroids, that he ingested/snorted/smoked/shot up/freebased/etc. to himself, of his own free will and volition, is not a permanent and dangerous character flaw.

                  He’s a teenager. I did crazy shit as a teenager, including illicit drugs and dangerous acts. It didn’t define who I was permanently.

                • Hughesus Christo says:

                  But you weren’t an aspiring pro athlete goosing your performance by using drugs that you (presumably) won’t be able to use for while on my team.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Exactly. If the other 3B prospect beats his murder charge, we should be all over that shit too.

                  His talent —and I’m going to guess it’s immense because of the large signing bonus —trumps him failing any drug test. Plus, he’s likely much more affordable because it’s scared off some teams.

                  I don’t care if he ingested Ozzie Osbourne. If we can sign him and he performs well, he’s easily worth the risk. If we sign him and he flops, his talent is still greater than the sum of the risk.

                  I’m not an actuary, but that’s pretty clear.

                • Accent Shallow says:

                  You mean Angel Villalona? He’s probably the most extreme example of prospect gurus overvaluing youth — some of them ranked him over Montero after 2008, even a) Montero destroyed the Sally League, while Villalona was merely good, and b) they had similar (ish) hitting tools. Their reasoning was that merely competing was better than dominating, when Villalona was 8 months younger. (Nevermind that Montero was very young for the league, himself)

  13. Ivan says:

    How bout them Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I finally bought Daisy by Brand New and I’m about to give it a first listen–anyone else pick it up/have impressions?

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

      I’m here for you, buddy. It’s generally not my style of music (I’m more of a top-40, teenybopper listener), but it was a lot more similar to The Devil and God… than it was Deja or YFW.

      It’s fairly similar to songs like “Jesus Christ,” “Handcuffs,” and “Welcome to Bangkok.” It also has a bit of a Pinback sound to it, with maybe a touch of Built to Spill.

      Overall, it’s good, but not great.

      • Yeah, it’s definitely more TDAG which I don’t mind ’cause I really liked that album (though I wish they used more of the demo tracks rather than the instrumental tracks).

        I’m about halfway through Daisy now and I’m not loving it or hating it. I feel as if they’re trying to go for a new/different sound on just about every song, which is admirable but I think the effort is taking away from the quality of the songs a bit.

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

          Yeah, one of the problems is there are no standout songs. Nothing that really gets you going. It’s a collection of interesting but underwhelming songs, and good-not-great songs.

          It rates out as good, but I wish they’d gone in a different direction, something closer to Deja Entendu.

          And I say this as a huge Pinback fan.

          • It rates out as good, but I wish they’d gone in a different direction, something closer to Deja Entendu.

            I think we’re going to wish this with every Brand New album. Nothing will ever match DE.

          • Alright, I finished it and I’m very underwhelmed. It’ll probably take me another two or three listens before I get really into it, but first impression, very meh. Maybe I’m just looking for something that isn’t there anymore in terms of this band. Oh well.

            • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

              Yeah, I’d give it a C+/B-, but it’s better a few listens in.

              I think you’re right that they’ve jumped the shark and are no longer going to be etching toward a Deja sound. Too bad. I wasn’t a fan of YFW, and am okay with the newer sound, but would prefer something different.

              What sort of stuff do you like?

              Quick two, I’d recommend TV on the Radio and Animal Collective. And because I can’t help myself, Owl City.

              • In terms of new stuff, really nothing. This is the first new album I’ve bought since Say Anything’s In Defense of the Genre or The Starting Line’s Direction. For the last two years or so, I’ve put absolutely zero effort into finding new music. It’s kinda sad. Mostly, I just pump the old stuff I loved years ago that I’ll never get back.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  I’m not a snob or anything, but I listened to Say Anything, TSL, Brand New, stuff like that in high school. I must say though, I grew a bit bored with the same sound after a while.

                  Quick list of bands to check out (take or leave)


                  Amadou & Mariam
                  Andrew Bird
                  Animal Collective
                  Architecture in Helsinki
                  Cat Power
                  The Coral
                  Crooked Still
                  Emily Wells
                  The Feeling
                  Fionn Regan
                  Fleet Foxes
                  The Format
                  Friendly Fires
                  Frou Frou
                  Gabriel Rios
                  Girl Talk
                  Gogol Bordello
                  Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
                  The Hush Sound
                  i am jen
                  Immortal Technique
                  Iron & Wine
                  The Jealous Sound
                  Joshua Radin
                  Justin Connor
                  Jump Little Children

                • I have a Brandston album sitting around here somewhere. I’ll have to dig it up. I have at least heard of, and listened to some, most of those bands/artists. I’ve just gotta be a lot less lazy about finding new music.

                • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

                  Torrent tons of shit in one night and use a rainy day to sort through things.

                  I think you’d dig The Hush Sound and Fun. the most.

                  My personal favorites right now are Amadou & Mariam (blind couple from Africa), Crooked Still (bluegrass/folk), Iron & Wine (dark acoustic, I suppose), and Gogol Bordello (Ukrainian polka punk rock).

                  The only album I really liked from Brandtson was Send Us a Signal, but I thought it was really solid pop punk.

  15. Evan says:

    When I first saw Venus Williams’s Australian Open dress, I thought, “Wait, where’s her underwear?”

  16. Ivan says:

    If the Nets get John Wall, what would the Nets do with Harris?

    • SamVa says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related (safe)

      If the Nets get John Wall… I may become a Nets fan.. that kid is ridiculous.

      The PG for my high school team is pretty good friends with him and they were texting today and Wall wished him good luck in his game tonight… just thought that was cool

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

        I’d think they’d look to trade him for a guy they could pair with Lopez in the post, or another pick to just assemble as much pure talent as possible.

        I’ve been to a few Net games this year and they’re just sad, so I’d love to see them grab Wall. Imagine, for just a moment, a lineup featuring Brook Lopez, John Wall, and Lebron. You could pair those three with two guys from a decent 8th grade AAU team and it would be exciting.

    • If the Nets get John Wall, what would the Nets do with Harris?

      SCENE: 1984 NBA Draft
      Blazers GM Stu Inman: I’m torn on who we should take this draft.
      Indiana Coach Bobby Knight: Take Michael Jordan. He’s the best player in this field, by far.
      Inman: But we already have lots of wing players. We need a center.
      Knight: Then take Jordan and play him at center.

      … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!

      That’s a true story, btw. Paraphrased, but accurate. Inman didn’t take Knight’s advice. He should have.

      Take the best player. Sort the shit out afterwards.

    • Hughesus Christo says:

      Since Devin Harris isn’t good, who cares?

  17. Reggie C. says:

    ARGH … Knicks are getting sloppy with the ball.

  18. Ori M says:

    Bring back Bernie for LF 2010?

  19. Alex S says:

    wow this guys makes yankee fans look bad


    • bexarama says:

      It’s Yahoo Answers, it makes humanity look bad.

      (Please don’t sign Papelbon, Yankees. I know I’ll root for pretty much whoever is on the team, but that would be… difficult)

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        I concur with this statement.
        You thought A-Rod had pressure? Whoever replaces Mo will be dealing with HELL.

  20. Mike Axisa says:

    My goodness does that Katy Perry chick look amazing on American Idol.

  21. Steve H says:

    So as much as I led the Ben Sheets brigade earlier in the offseason, I never expected him to get $10 mil guaranteed. While I certainly consider it overpaying, I still think it’s a good deal for the A’s. They have a ton of young pitching, and if he’s pitching well and they are out of contention, I’m sure they’d be able to trade him pretty easily. And if he shits the bed, while it is $10 million, it’s only for 1 year. Though does anyone else think if the Yankees guaranteed him $10 million after missing a season, we’d see 10,000 articles about how the Yankees continue to ruin the game with their outlandish spending?

  22. Drew says:

    Yasser Gomez.

    Yadel Marti.

    WTF happened to these dudes? I wanted Yasser Gomez so bad during the season last year then forgot about him. I’m getting back on the bandwagon. He’s 29 years old, Yasser to teh LF!!

    Get on that Cash.

  23. Stormrider6 says:

    I have a Fantasy Baseball question for any of you experts out there. I’m playing in a league for the first time this year, and I don’t want to mess up my draft. Right now, I’m basing my draft strategy on WAR, but not just the straight projected WAR value. I want to find or create a draft tool which shows by position the marginal increase between players so I can choose the greatest for each position available at the time. Since there’s no defensive value, I want to focus on offense only.

    Is there anything like this available anywhere (preferably free), or do I need to do the legwork myself?

  24. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    I’ll take the rapists for a thousand.

    http://www.onlineathens.com/st.....6715.shtml (SFW, but strange)

  25. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    The big series will be that Boston series at home from August 6-9.

  26. Have to say, thanks unbelievably for your site!!
    Pretty rare to find a good blog which isn’t just trying to scam you anymore :P

    I’ve already written it down so I can come back to it! :D

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.