Mobile Tigers


Mobile Tigers

The Mobile Tigers, a semi-professional baseball team composed entirely[1] of African-American players based in Mobile, Alabama, was among the leading teams in the Negro League.[2] It was one of several Negro League teams based in Mobile during the same period and was a training ground for at least three Negro League players who later joined professional teams.[3]

Shortly after leaving a reform school in Mount Meigs, Alabama, Satchel Paige started his career with the Mobile Tigers at age 18.[4][5][6][7] The employed Paige had been job hunting but in his spare time enjoyed watching his older brother Wilson playing for this team. Presenting himself in a try out to "Candy Jim" Taylor, the Mobile Tigers's manager at that time, Paige fired ten fastballs past Taylor. After ten pitches and ten Strikes, Paige got a job with the Mobile Tigers in 1924.[1][8] According to Paige, the Mobile Tigers paid him "$1 when the gate was good and a keg of lemonade when it wasn't."[9]

According to a sports writer for the Birmingham-Pittsburg Traveller, Paige's position pitching for the semi-pro Mobile Tigers was the launching pad for "one of the most successful careers in baseball history."[10] After playing for the Mobile Tigers for one year, Paige began his professional baseball career with the Chattanooga White Sox of the Negro Southern League.[1][11]

Future Negro League stars Ted Radcliffe (as well as his brother Forney) and Bobby Robinson also played on the Mobile Tigers at the same time as Paige.[3][12] Radcliffe began his professional career with the Detroit Stars and went on to play for the St. Louis Stars, Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932), Columbus Blue Birds, New York Black Yankees, Brooklyn Eagles, Cincinnati Tigers, Memphis Red Sox, Birmingham Black Barons, Chicago American Giants, Louisville Buckeyes and Kansas City Monarchs.[13][14] Robinson moved on to the Pensacola Giants and went on to play for the Birmingham Black Barons, the Chicago American Giants, the Memphis Red Sox, and the Detroit Stars over the next eight years.[15]

References

  1. ^ a b c [1] Stories of Children, "Snatching A Moment with Satch"
  2. ^ [2] The Urban News, "Asheville Celebrates Connections with Negro Baseball League ", Friday, 14 March 2008
  3. ^ a b [3] Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe: 36 Years of Pitching & Catching in Baseball's Negro Leagues
  4. ^ [4] Satchel Paige Stats and Awards
  5. ^ [5] Major League Baseball: Negro Leagues Legacy
  6. ^ [6] The African American Registry
  7. ^ [7] James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994 (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at Kansas State University College of Education)
  8. ^ [8] New York Times (June 8, 1982) Obituary of Satchel Paige at the Negro League Laseball Players Association
  9. ^ Satchel Paige as told to David Lipman (1993). Maybe I’ll Pitch Forever. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 30–31. ISBN 0-8032-8732-1. 
  10. ^ [9] Birmingham-Pittsburg Traveller(kenyon.edu)
  11. ^ Larry Tye (2009). Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend. New York: Random House. pp. 24–29, 41–42. ISBN 1400066514. 
  12. ^ [10] Bobby Robinson Wood Sign
  13. ^ [11] The African America Registry
  14. ^ [12] Baseball Library
  15. ^ Historic Baseball web site, access September 23, 2006 Historic Baseball: Bobby Robinson

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