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Satchel Paige
(b. July 7, 1906 - d. June 8, 1982)
The first African-American ever elected to the Hall of Fame, Satchell Paige was the Negro Leagues' greatest drawing card. He started pitching for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1926 at age 20. His blazing fastball, uncanny control, and effervescent personality made him a legend by age 30. He made his greatest mark on the game by pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1940s. In 1948, at age 42, he made his major league debut and helped Cleveland to the AL pennant. In 1965, at age 59, he was still able to pitch three scoreless innings for the Athletics.
Inducted in 1971
1953 Topps Satchell Paige #220 PSA 8 NM-MT
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Comments: I'll never forget purchasing my first Satchell Paige card from a dealer named George Fields at a Denver mall show when I was a young teenager. He was a great guy with a thick Bayou accent and used a punch tape label maker to price the cards. It was sometime in the mid-1990s. The card presented EX-MT, in a Lucite holder. I eventually had it graded by PSA and received, as expected, a "6" rating. At some point I upgraded to a PSA 7 which sold in November, 1999. Within a few months I took the profits and replaced it with an ultra high-end 7 example:

Top two corners are NM-MT, bottom two are just a bit weaker. HUGE striking color and virtually chip-free reverse. The centering on this card is terrific. I would love to upgrade to a high-end PSA 8/SGC 88 someday.

UPDATE: In June, 2015 I picked up a PSA 10 tribute card issued in 1991 of the iconic '53 Topps issue:

UPDATE: - In the early morning hours on November 23rd, 2016, I was browsing eBay for possible upgrades to my collection.  I first checked out the '54 Topps Banks rookies in PSA 8 holders.  There were a few but the prices were in the $9K to $15K range  - pricey.  Next, I searched for '53 Topps Paige PSA 8s to potentially replace the NM copy I owned.  Several copies were listed mostly in the $5K-$9K range.  One example, stood out with a Buy It Now price of $4100 and offers welcome.  I didn't know the seller but recognized their handle from the Net54 message boards.  A google search turned up a telephone and email address.  I sent an email requesting a phone call later that morning, hoping to hear a response once I woke up.  Sure enough the seller called me around 9am, we had a great conversation, and negotiated a reasonable price just slightly above recent sales figures for the card.  The seller assured me the card was one of the nicest examples they've ever owned with little chipping and perfect centering.  From the scan, the color popped too!  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the card was shipped overnight on Friday, and I had it in hand by Saturday afternoon.  I opened the package w my daughter in the car and was not disappointed.  It was a beauty in every aspect.  The corners were very strong, the reverse clean and Ole Satch jumped off the cardboard.  I was thrilled to have landed, in my opinion, one of the Top 10 '53 Paige cards in the entire hobby.  There's only two copies graded NM-MT+ 8.5, seven graded Mint 9, and no PSA 10s according to PSA.  SGC has only graded three examples 92/100 (NM/MT +) or above.

Card Details Below:  
Year(s): 1953
ACC Set Designation:
Set Name: Topps
Country: United States
Description: The 1953 Topps set reflects the company's continuing legal battles with Bowman. The set, originally intended to consist of 280 cards, is lacking six numbers (#'s 253, 261, 267, 268, 271, and 275) which probably represent players whose contracts were lost to the competition. The 2-5/8" X 3-3/4" cards feature painted player pictures. A color team logo appears at a bottom panel (red for American League and black for National). Card backs contain the first baseball trivia questions along with brief statistics and player biographies. In the red panel at the top which lists the player's personal data, cards from the 2nd Series (#'s 86-165, plus 10, 44, 61, 72 and 81) can be found with that data printed in either black or white, black being the scarcer variety. Cards 221-280 are the scarce high numbers, with even scarcer short-printed cards interspersed in the series.
Example 1953 Topps 1-Cent Display Box

Example 1953 Topps 5-Cent Display Box