Several baseball players in North Dakota who set records in the major leagues

Several baseball players in North Dakota who set records in the major leagues

Last week, I focused on three major league record holders during the first decade of the 1900s who also played baseball in North Dakota.. All three – Roy Patterson, Deacon Phillippe and Bob Unglaub – had also been star baseball players for Millers.

The second incident was the lifting of the 1946 ban that banned African Americans from playing for MLB teams or any of their affiliated minor league teams. As far as I know, there was never a formal ban on black people playing baseball in North Dakota, and since a ban was in place for organized professional teams, many of the best black players were recruited to play for teams in that state.

Right after the color barrier was lifted, several of these players were signed to major league contracts. Two of the best were Satchel Paige and Quincy Trouppe, who had both played for North Dakota for several years.

More age-related records than any other MLB player

Satchel Paige set in 1948. Acme Newspictures / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special to the Forum

Satchel Paige set in 1948. Acme Newspictures / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special to the Forum

At the age of 42, Leroy “Satchel” Paige became the oldest MLB player to make his debut when he first appeared in a baseball game in 1948. Seventeen years later, at the age of 59, he became the oldest player to appear. in an official major league match. He was also the oldest hurler to play in the World Series, hitting an All-Star game, leading his team to victory, putting an end to it, hitting a full game and knocking out another major league player in a regular season game. In addition, Paige was the first African-American to pitch in the American League.

In 1933, Neil Churchill, a car dealer in Bismarck, bought and managed Bismarck Grays, a semi-professional baseball team. At the time, the best team in the North Dakota was the Jamestown Red Sox, which had a number of very good black players on its team. After the season was coming down and desperate to win the state title, Churchill hired Paige, who many thought was the best pitcher in the Negro Leagues.

Paige scored nine games for Bismarck, winning seven without a loss, and helped his team win the North Dakota title. This was Paige’s first experience playing for an integrated team in the United States.

Paige and Churchill had an agreement that the pitcher would return to Bismarck in 1934, but instead Paige played for Pittsburgh Crawfords and Colored House of David. Churchill convinced Paige to pose for his team in 1935, and he responded with a 29-3 record, striking out 321 in 301 innings and going just 16.

Because Bismarck was considered one of the best semi-pro teams in America, they were invited to attend the first National Baseball Congress in Wichita, Kan. Bismarck won all seven matches they played, and Paige was the starting and winning pitcher in four of those matches. During the tournament, he hit 60 strokes, “a record that will probably never be broken.”

From 1936 to early 1948, Paige competed for teams in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, as well as teams in the Negro Leagues, and for independent child storming teams. On his 42nd birthday in 1948, Cleveland Indians summoned owner Bill Veeck to Paige for a rehearsal. Two days later, on July 9, he struck his first fight.

During the last three months of the season, Paige appeared in 21 games and posted a 6-1 win-loss record. At the end of the season, the Indians and the Red Sox were tied for first place, and in the playoffs, the Indians won and won the American League pennant. I think it’s safe to say that the Indians would not have won the pennant if Paige had not been part of the team.

Satchel Paige's Bowman Gum Baseball Card from 1949. Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special for the Forum

Satchel Paige’s Bowman Gum Baseball Card from 1949. Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special for the Forum

Paige remained with the Indians in 1949, but at the end of the season, Veeck was forced to sell the team to pay for his divorce settlement, and Paige was released by the new owner. In 1950, Paige returned to his heyday, earning $ 800 per game. One of the teams he played for was Minot Mallards in the Mandak League. He hit three points without a point in each of his three games with Mallards. Midway through 1951, Veeck bought an 80% stake in the St. Louis Browns, and he signed Paige to another major league contract in July.

In 1952, Paige became part of the Browns’ starting rotation, and he was so effective that he was named the All-Star team, making him the first black pitcher on an American League All-Star team. Paige was the best pitcher for the Browns that season, going 12-10 with a 3.07 earned running average on a team that went 64-80. He set two other records that season, becoming the oldest pitcher to set a shutout and the oldest hurray to play a complete game.

In 1953, Paige was once again named the All-Star team, becoming the oldest player to appear in the summer classic. At the end of the season, Veeck had to sell his team, and Paige was released.

In 1954 and 1955, Paige returned to child molestation until Veeck bought the Miami Marlins from the International League. Veeck signed Paige, who remained a starting pitcher for the Marlins for three seasons, while believing he could still play at major league level.

In 1965, he was contacted by Charles O. Finley, owner of Kansas City Athletics, to start a game against the Boston Red Sox on September 25. He hit three innings with one stroke, and knocked out a batter before hanging up the glove in the major league for the last time.

The oldest position player who made his debut in the major subjects

When Quincy Trouppe first crouched behind the home plate on April 30, 1952, in a game for the Cleveland Indians, he became, at age 39, “the oldest man to have played a position other than pitcher, in his major league debut. “Later that season, Trouppe entered the record books for the second time when he was behind the plate when Sam Jones entered the game as a relief pitcher, forming” the first black battery (the pitcher and the catcher) in American League history. “

Trouppe was a young, all-star catcher in the Negro Leagues when he was recruited by Churchill to play for his Bismarck team in 1933. Trouppe could strike on average and with power, but his most valuable assets were his fishing skills. He consistently called a good game, knew the strength of the pitchers and the weaknesses of the battles, and had a “rocket arm”, which allowed him to often throw out fast base stars.

The Bismarck Tribune called him “Babe Ruth of colored baseball.” In 1933, “it was the Trouppe who encouraged Paige” to join Churchill’s baseball team. Trouppe remained in Bismarck until 1937, when he decided to retire from baseball and concentrate on becoming a boxer.

In the summer of 1935, Trouppe returned to his home in St. Louis, where he had some success as a heavyweight boxer, winning several local championship tips and the Golden Gloves tournament. In 1937 he became a good friend of Archie Moore, later the world heavyweight champion. Moore was impressed with Trouppe’s boxing skills, but he saw one thing that would limit his success. Moore told him, “Quincy, I do not think you can ever be a fighter. You’re just too nice. You’re not the usual type. You have blows. You move faster than average heavyweight, and you have a really sharp left jab. But you are not evil. “

In 1938, Trouppe returned to baseball games in Negroes and Mexican leagues from 1938 to 1952. In 1952, he was signed by the Indians, and after playing in only six games, Trouppe was released, and soon after became a baseball scout and restaurant owner. .

We will continue the story of baseball players in North Dakota who set MLB records next week.

“Did You Know That” is written by Curt Eriksmoen and edited by Jan Eriksmoen from Fargo. Send your comments, corrections or suggestions for columns to Eriksmoens at

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