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Interviews | March 17, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Peter Stark: The Powells.com Interview



Peter StarkIt's hard to believe that 200 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was one of the most remote and isolated regions in the world. In 1810, four years... Continue »
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Customer Comments

GC has commented on (4) products.

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye
Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

GC, October 9, 2009


Turn the page on breaking color barrier
Scott Ostler, Chronicle Staff Writer
sostler@sfchronicle.com
Friday, October 9, 2009

(10-08) 21:37 PDT -- I've been rethinking Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth.

I've always had Robinson as my No. 1 courageous pioneer, and Ruth as the athlete with whom I'd most like to have a beer. Obvious, right?

Wrongo!

Satchel Paige now tops both my lists, since reading "Satchel," by Larry Tye (Random House), the new and well-researched Paige biography.

Robinson broke the color barrier in '47, but Paige hammered hard on that barrier for over 20 years. As one Negro Leaguer said, Jackie opened the door but Satchel inserted the key.

Paige led many barnstorming tours and had the juice to demand that the host cities make restaurants and hotels available to his players, even in the deep South. Paige's pitching against barnstorming white major-leaguers made a joke of the white-held belief that blacks were inferior ballplayers.

It's heartbreaking to read how Paige was bypassed for the pioneer role handed to Robinson. Paige was considered over the hill, and uncontrollable. Ironically, while younger generations came to view Paige as a clownish Uncle Tom, one big reason he wasn't tapped over Robinson was that baseball people knew Paige would take no guff, as Robinson did in '47.

Paige signed with the Indians in July of 1948, at age 42. At a secret tryout, he pitched to Lou Boudreau, then hitting near .400. Paige threw 20 pitches, Boudreau swung at 19 and didn't make solid contact. Paige went 6-1 in that half season.

Paige and Ruth were practically brothers. Both grew up in reform school, Paige doing six years for shoplifting. Both could be petulant, selfish and outlandishly charming and fun. Both loved cool cars, fancy clothes, shotguns, nightlife and lots of women.

But Ruth had it easy, eased into the big-league system like a man cruising onto a freeway. Paige was like the advance scout for Lewis & Clark. He made up the rules -and broke them - as he went.

When Paige and I meet for beers, Babe is welcome to come. He would want to hear Satchel's stories, too.
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The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S Ritter
The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It

GC, February 12, 2009

Wonderfully detailed story telling by the guys who played the game. Ritter doesn't oversell the subject, but rather let's the subject come out through the men who played the game. This is a must-have for any true baseball fan. Also check out Donald Honig's, "Between the Lines" for a similar book in a subsequent era of the national pastime.
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God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It

GC, November 27, 2006

Loved it. A real page-turner. Rids us of the notion of the "corporate duopoloy" by dismantling the Democrats and Republicans for the rudderless minority (now majority) and the demogogues they are, respectively. Instead, places primary focus on putting the Christ back in Christian AND Christian values: stewardship of the environment, public health, affordable housing, concern for developing nations, livable wages, fair trade, etc. Wallis makes it clear that we can, indeed, be the change we are waiting for.
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Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

GC, November 26, 2006

Wonderful for me. I practice "centering prayer"--a type of prayer that (eventually) might be considered "contemplative"--and found Rohr's discussion of the bases of (and practical techniques for improving upon) these prayer forms exceedingly insightful. He was instructive without being pedantic; accessible without being cornball. I checked the book out from the library and now want my own copy.
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(8 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)



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