The NLBM is thrilled to welcome home an incredible timepiece belonging to the ageless wonder, Leroy “Satchel” Paige. The NLBM recently acquired this beautiful gold pocket watch that was presented to Paige in 1942 prior to a game at Wrigley Field between his Kansas City Monarchs and Memphis Red Sox.
It was Satchel Paige Day on July 26, 1942 at Wrigley. The legendary pitcher was showered with gifts including a gold Elgin watch presented by the Chicago Defender. The engraving on the back of the watch reads, “TO SATCHEL PAIGE WORLD’S GREATEST PITCHER FROM THE CHICAGO DEFENDER WORLD’S GREATEST WEEKLY JULY 26, 1942”.
The watch was also accompanied by a July 25, 1942 Chicago Defender newspaper article titled, “CHICAGO TO HONOR SATCHEL PAIGE SUNDAY” with the subtitle reading “Defender to Give Gold Watch.”
Paige, who was masterful in 1942, helped lead the Monarchs to a World Series sweep of the powerful Homestead Grays that season. In the rare game at Wrigley, Paige beat his nemesis, Verdell “Lefty” Mathis 4-2. He won another World Series title, after finally getting to the Major Leagues in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians. He was the first player from the Negro Leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his Negro Leagues play.
The watch will soon be featured as part of a new expanded Satchel Paige section at the NLBM.