Joe Biden has been talking about Satchel Paige quite a bit lately.
We suppose it’s this equity platform. Half his senseless ramblings must involve people of color.
There was a recent moment where the baseball pitcher came up in conversation with the Pope, of all people.
And then, on Veteran’s Day, Biden was at Arlington National Cemetery and he once again brought up the Hall of Fame pitcher. But now it’s become one of those times he and his handlers wished he was back in his Wilmington bunker.
Did Biden Refer to Satchel Paige as The Great Negro?
In his speech, Biden referred to Paige as the “Great Negro at the time”.
Yes, he said that. Here’s the clip from C-SPAN.
And here it is again in words:
“I’ve adopted the attitude of the great Negro at the time … pitcher in the Negro Leagues, went on to become a great pitcher in the pros … in the Major League Baseball after Jackie Robinson. His name was Satchel Paige.”
Now, the mainstream press is doing its best to say that Biden didn’t really say that. At least, he didn’t say it like that. But you can just scroll up a tad and play the clip again. That’s clearly what he said.
But check out he cover the press runs for Biden on this.
From Real Unclear Politics, there is this crude interpretation of what Biden said:
Several other outlets picked up on a story that Fox News apparently showed an edited form of this video during one of its broadcasts. That’s a clever diversion from the story even if it’s a justified chastising of Fox News’ coverage in this instance.
Seriously, just show the whole clip. It speaks for itself.
So, did Biden really refer to Satchel Paige as the Great Negro? Sure, kinda.
Fact Check: Did Satchel Paige Beat Chicago on His 47th Birthday as Biden Suggested?
Now, the one thing no one is really talking about is the other part of Biden’s Satchel Paige story at Arlington on Thursday.
After his Great Negro comment, Biden continued to talk about Paige. He recalled a time when Paige was reflecting on his long career as a pitcher.
This is how Biden told it:
And Satchel Paige, on his 47th birthday, pitched a win against Chicago. And all the press went in and said, “Satch, it’s amazing — 47 years old. No one’s ever, ever pitched a win at age 47. How do you feel about being 47?” He said, “Boys, that’s not how I look at it.” They said, “How do you look at it, Satch?” He said, “I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”
One problem … this never happened. At least, it didn’t happen on Paige’s 47th birthday.
We have plenty of receipts to back this up.
First of all, Paige was born on July 7, 1906. That would make his 47th birthday July 7, 1953.
In 1953, Paige started the season as a 46-year-old with the St. Louis Browns. He turned 47 in the middle of a bad season for the Browns. The Browns were not very good that year, finishing with a 54-100 record.
And it was a year Paige probably would have liked to forget, too. He finished the 1953 season with a 3-9 record. He did make the All-Star Game, however.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, what Biden described above definitely did not happen.
On July 7, the Browns came in riding a 6-game losing streak. And that losing streak would extend to 7 games when the Browns were beaten by the Cleveland Indians, 6-3. Paige didn’t pitch in that game. The loss was credited to Browns pitcher Bobo Holloman.
Paige did pitch in the prior game, however, on July 6. But he didn’t win. In fact, he took the loss in a 8-7 11-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers. He pitched the final 5 innings of the game and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits. Paige surrendered a home run to the Tigers’ Ray Boone in the 11th. The loss dropped his record during the 1953 season to 1-5.
So, maybe Biden meant the year before or the year after what he said? Possibly but nope.
On Paige’s 46th birthday, during the 1952 season with the Browns, St. Louis was off. Strangely, Paige pitched the day before his birthday just like he did the next year. And very strangely, Paige took the loss in that game, too, losing to the Tigers, 8-6.
And the year after, on Paige’s 48th birthday, he was out of Major League Baseball and went back to “barnstorming” as an amateur before signing in the minor leagues in the International League. At no time would Paige have pitched against a team from Chicago.
To clear up this fact check, we’ll say that Biden’s Satchel Paige story is fake.
Images: Beckett, Depositphotos