Few characters in sports have so vivid or memorable a personality as Satchel Paige, even in the era of Michael Jordan; Cline-Ransome's storytelling captures that personality with the rhythms of a folktale, while her husband's oil paintings are strong and sure. Paige was a natural-born pitcher, expert from a very early age. This well-written biography begins with his childhood, where his job of carrying luggage for passengers at the Mobile, Alabama train station earned him his nickname. He learned baseball in "reform school," where he was sent after getting caught stealing, and was a star in the Negro Leagues with greats such as Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson. He was over 40 when he finally got his chance in the majors, but was the first African-American to pitch in a World Series. The green and gold of the field, the long, tall image of Satchel in his uniform against a deep blue sky, and the bodies of baseball players coiled or unleashed make a fine counterpoint to the lyrical telling. (Picture book/biography. 6-10) Read full book review >
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