• Satchel

  • The Life and Times of an American Legend
  • By: Larry Tye
  • Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Satchel  By  cover art

Satchel

By: Larry Tye
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $39.93

Buy for $39.93

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller • The superbly researched, spellbindingly told story of athlete, showman, philosopher, and boundary breaker Leroy “Satchel” Paige

“Among the rare biographies of an athlete that transcend sports . . . gives us the man as well as the myth.” (The Boston Globe)

Few reliable records or news reports survive about players in the Negro Leagues. Through dogged detective work, award-winning author and journalist Larry Tye has tracked down the truth about this majestic and enigmatic pitcher, interviewing more than 200 Negro Leaguers and Major Leaguers, talking to family and friends who had never told their stories before, and retracing Paige’s steps across the continent. Here is the stirring account of the child born to an Alabama washerwoman with 12 young mouths to feed, the boy who earned the nickname “Satchel” from his enterprising work as a railroad porter, the young man who took up baseball on the streets and in reform school, inventing his trademark hesitation pitch while throwing bricks at rival gang members. 

Tye shows Paige barnstorming across America and growing into the superstar hurler of the Negro Leagues, a marvel who set records so eye-popping they seemed like misprints, spent as much money as he made, and left tickets for “Mrs. Paige” that were picked up by a different woman at each game. In unprecedented detail, Tye reveals how Paige, hurt and angry when Jackie Robinson beat him to the Majors, emerged at the age of 42 to help propel the Cleveland Indians to the World Series. He threw his last pitch from a big-league mound at an improbable 59. (“Age is a case of mind over matter,” he said. “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”) 

More than a fascinating account of a baseball odyssey, Satchel rewrites our history of the integration of the sport, with Satchel Paige in a starring role. This is a powerful portrait of an American hero who employed a shuffling stereotype to disarm critics and racists, floated comical legends about himself - including about his own age - to deflect inquiry and remain elusive, and in the process methodically built his own myth. “Don’t look back”, he famously said. “Something might be gaining on you.” Separating the truth from the legend, Satchel is a remarkable accomplishment, as large as this larger-than-life man. 

©2009 Larry Tye (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Having known Satchel when I was a young ballplayer, I'm reminded of the man who took over the game with both his superior pitching and his dynamic personality. This book is a must-read that captures the essence of one of the greatest legends in baseball history, Satchel Paige. (Dusty Baker, Manager, Cincinnati Reds)

More from the same

What listeners say about Satchel

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    73
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story about a baseball icon.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this title to a friend. I found it very insightful into the life of a great baseball player.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I would have loved to listen to this in one sitting, but I just don't have that kind of time.

Any additional comments?

There were a few places where some of the audio was missing, the editing was bad, and there were a few repeated lines. It looks like this book has been out for a few years and I was surprised that they haven't corrected these issues yet.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

free lance / free man / free agent

? what'd you do with outrageous talent as a black 20 year old in 1926
? how'd you respond to scouts who'd say "...boy, if only you were white..."
? what'd you say if you had to wait until you were 42 to get your chance

born in 1906, leroy robert "satchel" paige faced all these questions and more
blessed with a perfect right arm and cursed with a " jim crow " childhood
he ranked easily among the 20 best baseball players of all time

his life had every sad and varied element of 20th century african-american life
it's no surprise it is so relentlessly hard, paradoxical and counterintuitive
he seemed forever balanced between cold blooded competitor and playful clown

all the showmanship and exaggeration kept the writers and fans amused
and it kept the light focused on satchel and the world at a reliable arms length
the introverted performer treasured the mound as his personal safe stage

so many aspects of his professional behavior pre-date free agency
he never apologized for offering his fantastic talents to the highest bidder
his matter-of-fact mercenary approach would fit in perfectly with today's game

the book helped me see beyond the playful quotes and clowning to the man inside
he sadly burned for the opportunity to just show the world what he could do
he felt sorry, not for himself but for those that never got to see him play



1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Detail

Good listen. Alot of details, both baseball and personal life. Learned a lot and enjoyed the balance between Paige’s exaggerations and the “truth”.

My major criticism is that the reader calls Bill Veeck, pronounced Ve-ck, Ve-ek.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book I’ve read in years

The story of Satchel was mesmerizing. The author obviously did extensive research. The life of this amazing athlete is so intriguing and legendary that without extensive research it would be almost impossible to believe. Greatest book I’ve read (listened to) in decades. I can’t just recommend this book, I have to say if you don’t read this book you’re missing out.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good, a little shy of Great

It feels like a pretty complete biography of Satchel, and it does a decent job of parsing through that which is probable fact and probable exaggeration. However depending the point of origin for your interest in this legend (baseball fan, civil rights, etc) I think you'll likely be disappointed slightly. It is a book about a baseball legend that never let's you enjoy the game, and also a book about racism that is centered around baseball from the 20s to the 80s. The feats of greatness on the field are there along with homespun stories, but so also are the examples and stories of racism Satchel endured. The author doesn't cover racism in one or two chapters like many other books of black athletes, and then move on to center the rest of the story on their achievements, heartbreaks, and personal lives. Instead this author never seems to let the reader enjoy Satchel's greatness and marvel at it, because as soon as you lose yourself in the moment, the author brings forth another shameful example of racism Satchel had to endure. You end up feeling broken-down after a good listen and just want a break the cruelty. But, perhaps this was the author's intent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Veek or Veck

It was painful to hear Bill Veek’s name mispronounced over and over again. 😣 Who researches these productions???

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Biography

This was an amazing book. I would’ve given it 5 stars except the speaker kept saying “Veek” when referring to Bill Veeck (prounounced Veck). Given how close the two were in each other’s lives and how Veeck’s autobiography is called “Veeck as in Wreck,” seems like a big oversight. Other than that, this had stories I haven’t heard before about the possibly the greatest pitcher to have ever lived, and I’m a big Satchel fan. It also does a great job of telling his failings as well as successes. I can’t imagine how hard this was to research.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the best biography on Satchel Paige

a beautiful and honest account of a great yet complicated American icon. the best biography available.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Veeck rhymes with beck not beak

Satchel led an amazing life. Too bad the narrator didn't didn't research Bill Veeck's life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A portrait of a legend.

Nothing I can say about Satchel that Larry Tye didn't say better, it was a marvelous listen. My only criticism is for the narrator- It's Veeck as in Wreck, his name does not rhyme with leek.