Satchel Paige responds to Bob Nightengale and Stan Musial’s grandson from beyond the grave (sort of)


“This isn’t just about flying another pennant in their stadium – their fourth in 10 years – or having the opportunity to win their 12th World Series championship.

It’s about the responsibility of upholding tradition.

It’s for old-time baseball.

They want to show this generation, that yes, it’s still hip to be square.

‘This is St. Louis, we have values here,’ said Brian Schwarze, 32. ‘My grandfather used to always tell me, ‘This is a gentleman’s game. You play the game right.”

‘If he were alive watching what LA did, he’d be shaking his head.’

Schwarze just so happens to be the grandson of Stan Musial.”

-Bob Nightengale, earlier today, USA Today

Hi, I’m Satchel Paige (Ed. note: No, you aren’t. Shut up, Bates.). You might remember me from such “Mickey Mouse” antics as trash talking opposing batters, and walking the bases loaded, then telling all my fielders to sit down while I struck out the side. (Also, I don’t care who you are, Mickey Mouse is still funny.) (Ed. note: True.)

I was born 14ish years before Stan Musial, and began playing professional ball in 1926, when Stan the Man was just six years old, and played the next 32 years before I took a break. What’s more, I played opposite Musial from 1951-1953 as a member of the St. Louis Browns when I was in my mid-40s. Stan was a great player, and a wonderful guy, but I was probably pretty much the greatest pitcher who ever lived. (Ed. note: Where are you going with this?)

Yeah, Stan was just a nice guy. Probably too nice, in that he should have whupped his grandson’s ass a few more times growing up for being a smug, know-nothing jackass portraying his grandpa as some judgmental, no-fun-having, stick in the mud. (Ed. note: Are you really comfortable putting these words in the mouth of a guy who’s been dead since a year after Stan Musial’s grandson was born? Isn’t that what he’s doing to his grandfather? Why are you allowed to do this and he isn’t?) It’s not a gentleman’s game; it’s a kids’ game that people paid grown men from every walk of life to play. A gentlemen’s game? You don’t know anything about the game’s history. Maybe read up on the Gas House Gang era Cardinals that immediately preceded your grandpa. (Ed. note: Oh, I see you’re just going to keep plugging along with this then, aren’t you, Bates? Try not to say anything racist, at least.)

You want to uphold a tradition? You got to choose which tradition and whose values you’re gonna be upholding. (Ed. note: Tone it down with the “gonna”s.) The tradition you’re talking about is a very specific one that excludes a lot of the game’s great history and players, and sets them up as being somehow less valid than the “perfect knight of baseball” (and what color is that knight, pray tell?). If you want to honor tradition? You want to stand up for old-time baseball? You can tell the fielders to sit down while Adam Wainwright does a Satch impersonation instead of trying to shame the Dodgers into shutting up.

(Ed. note: Oh. Well, that ended fairly well. A clever turn of phrase there with the “stand up/sit down” sentence construction. Please don’t ever do this again though. In general, it’s a bad idea to speak as though you’re a 107ish year old black man when you’re a pasty white suburbanite in your mid-30s.)

Disappointed Satch

(Bates: Noted.)

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Mike Bates used to have a stupid pseudonym. Now he doesn't because people want to pay him to write about baseball on the Internet and he's really a sell out that way. He is also a Designated Columnist at SBNation, co-founder of The Platoon Advantage, and is an American Carpetbagger on Getting Blanked, the finest in Canadian baseball-type sites. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter here:

5 Responses to “Satchel Paige responds to Bob Nightengale and Stan Musial’s grandson from beyond the grave (sort of)”

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  1. Poor Mans Rick Reed says:

    I need more Satchel Paige in my life. I wish that his ghost would haunt me.

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    • Stuck in a Slump says:

      I’ll bring a Ouija board and we can hold a seance if you’ll agree working out a time share for who get’s to hang out Satchel’s ghost.

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  2. olethros says:

    Having met him a few times, I suspect that Stan would’ve a) laughed his ass off, b) spent several minutes talking about how amazing Satchel Paige was, and c) told his grandson to keep his mouth shut.

    But that’s mere conjecture, I didn’t actually know him, just had the opportunity to talk briefly. And mostly went “holy shit you’re Stan Musial” while drooling.

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  3. james wilson says:

    I doubt Paige talked that much in a month. He was the kind to size things up and drop you with a pithy comment.

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  4. baycommuter says:

    Trivia: As a teenager Stan Musial played semipro ball with a black player back in Pennsylvania. He was Ken Griffey Jr.’s grandfather.

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