January 23, 2011
Follow me on Twitter


One of the interesting snippets at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture reads:

Did You Know?

In 1965, Satchel Paige pitched three no-hitter innings at the age of 57.

This is a nice illustration of why editing (and museum curation) is so difficult, for this short sentence – while basically correct – appears to contain three errors.

  1. “No-hitter” is a noun. The adjectival form is “no-hit.” This is the minor mistake that first caught my eye.
  2. There is some uncertainty, it seems, about the date of Paige’s birth. The consensus appears to be 7 July 1906, so Paige would have been 59, not 57.
  3. They weren’t no-hit innings; Carl Yastrzemski hit a double in the first.

You could also object that this was not the accomplishment for which Paige most ought to be remembered; pitching for the pennant-winning Indians in 1948 (and getting substantial Rookie Of The Year support at age 42) is more impressive, and of course the Negro League legends are off the charts.