TITLE: SATCHEL PAIGE DON’T LOOK BACK
Author: David A Adler
Illustrator: Terry Widener
Word Count: 1643-words
Summary: This is the story of Satchel Paige, an African-American pitcher who could throw a baseball like no one else. But due to the era of Jim Crow, Segregation, and “treating blacks like they were second-class citizens”, African American players were kept out of the major leagues.
This book could touch on many elements. But for me, it encompasses the element of plot and dialogue. I choose to focus on the latter.
What I liked about this book is, when questions were asked, the author used dialogue to make it “showing” versus “telling.” What drives this story? The first page started with a quote from Paige himself. “Only one person can pitch like me. I could nip frosting off a cake with my fast ball.” Then the author went on to state, “Satchel Paige may have been the best pitcher ever.” That is a bold first sentence considering I have read many books, looked at many baseball stats, and more than a million people would disagree. But the reality is, no one credited Satchel’s stats from the negro league. Many said, “That don’t count.” I say, “It’s the only one that does.”
Paige was secretive about his age. When asked, he replied, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”
There is a part in the book, where the author exhibited Paige’s artistic “writer” skill. He created names for his pitches. (I bet you can’t say them fast :D)
“The blooper, looper, drooper, hesitation pitch, wobbly ball, trouble ball, nothing ball, and a whipsey-dipsey-do. His favorite was a “bee” ball which buzzed like a bee past the batter.”
This is a baseball player in blissful banter about a sport he loves, BASEBALL!!!
What did the greatest white players had to say about Satchel Paige?
Joe Dimaggio said, “the best and fastest pitcher I’ve ever faced.”
Ted Williams said, “Saatch was the greatest pitcher in baseball.”
Dizzy Dean said, “(Paige) is a better pitcher than I ever hope to be.”
So to the millions who think that Satch is not the best, “If the greats say he’s the best. Then I believe Satch is the best.”
This book could touch on so many elements. The plot is simple. This book chronicles the life of one of the best players to play the sport of baseball. He played at a time where Jim Crow reigned, African-Americans were not respected, and baseball was separate and “unequal.”
This book is perfect supplemental resource for any curriculum and should not ONLY be read during Black History Month.