RESOLUTION TO HONOR BASEBALL GREAT SATCHEL PAIGE GOING TO PRESIDENT'S DESK
U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced that Tuesday the House passed Senator Bill Nelson's (D-FL) concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that President Bush should posthumously award baseball great Leroy "Satchel" Paige the Presidential Medal of Freedom (S.Con.Res.91). Senator DeWine is an original cosponsor of this resolution; it passed the Senate in May. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.
"I am pleased my colleagues in the House and Senate agreed that Satchel Paige deserves recognition for his contributions to American society, as well as his dedication to baseball," said Senator DeWine. "He was an ageless wonder who pitched so well for so long in the face of prejudice and segregation"
Satchel Paige was a dominating pitcher whose baseball career spanned nearly four decades, from 1927 to 1965. Due to the practice of segregation in baseball at the time, Paige was prohibited for many years from playing baseball at the major league level. For the better part of his career, he played in the Negro Leagues and became famous for his unusual pitching style and his tremendous strikeout ability. After the desegregation of baseball, Paige signed a contract to pitch for the Cleveland Indians at age 42, and soon thereafter became the oldest rookie to ever play baseball. His extraordinary pitching helped the Indians win the American League Championship and the World Series in 1948. In 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, recognizes exceptional meritorious service. The medal was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime.