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  #1  
Old 05-13-2003, 08:47 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Jackie Robinson's Cause of Death

PBS showed Ken Burns' documentary, Baseball again last Monday. In that episode (the Sixth), it was noted that he died at age 53 in 1972 and it was said that the racial distress he had to undergo when he first came up to the Majors caused his death. However, no cause of death was ever disclosed.

A Google search discloses that he had diabetes mellitus, but I could not find what complications from that disease caused his death. Nor can I relate how that is related to his mental duress.

While we are on Baseball, that episode also disclosed that Satchel Paige first appeared in the Majors in 1948, at the age of 42, or 38, or 48. My encyclopedia states that he was born in 1906, which would make him 42. What was the last year that he pitched in the Majors. IIRC, he hung around in his last years as a relief pitcher.
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2003, 08:56 PM
Payton's Servant Payton's Servant is offline
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I believe Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2003, 08:58 PM
Payton's Servant Payton's Servant is offline
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Satchel Paige pitched 3 shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, 59 years after his supposed birthday.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:11 PM
amarone amarone is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Payton's Servant
Satchel Paige pitched 3 shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, 59 years after his supposed birthday.
Here is his home page. And career MLB stats. Obviously, the stats exclude the negro leagues, where he had the great majority of his career.
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2003, 06:27 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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So, Satchel after "retiring" at age 46 (?), comes back out of retirement 12 years later and pitches 3 shut-out innings. What caused this "come-back" and why, after pitching superbly, he did not pitch again? Hey, I know he was 58, but....
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2003, 06:59 AM
herman_and_bill herman_and_bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by barbitu8
So, Satchel after "retiring" at age 46 (?), comes back out of retirement 12 years later and pitches 3 shut-out innings. What caused this "come-back" and why, after pitching superbly, he did not pitch again? Hey, I know he was 58, but....
He needed so many innings or games to be eligable for the HOF IIRC. Maybe for a pension, things are getting fuzzy here.
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2003, 07:11 AM
RobbieFal RobbieFal is offline
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Double Duty Radcliffe, on the other hand, in the SI from back in July (the one with Ted Williams 1918-2002 on it) says that Paige was born in 1900 since he was two years older than Duty (born in 1902)
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2003, 07:14 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Nah. It was a publicity stunt by Charlie Finley. Sort of like when Bill Veeck brought back Minnie Minoso so he could play in five different decades.
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2003, 07:23 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Just to clarify: I was talking about Paige's return in the mid-60s.
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2003, 07:42 AM
herman_and_bill herman_and_bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
Just to clarify: I was talking about Paige's return in the mid-60s.
It was mostly a stunt by Finley, he had to return the next year coaching for the Braves to get his pension time in.

Now I'm late for work
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2003, 08:36 AM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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If mental stress from his playing days killed Jackie Robinson, it sure took a long time to kill him. He retired after the 1956 season, and he died sixteen years later. Was he moping?

Robinson was a man of tremendous moral strength and courage, which of course is one of the reasons he was chosen to be the pioneer. I find it very difficult to believe that stress from his career killed him sixteen years after his playing days were over.

The cause of death I'd always heard was heart failure caused by diabetes.

herman_and_bill, Negro Leaguers are not technically required to have a given amount of major league service time to make the Hall of Fame. Most of the ones enshrined never played a day in the majors.
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Old 05-16-2003, 01:15 AM
Payton's Servant Payton's Servant is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickJay
If mental stress from his playing days killed Jackie Robinson, it sure took a long time to kill him. He retired after the 1956 season, and he died sixteen years later. Was he moping?

Robinson was a man of tremendous moral strength and courage, which of course is one of the reasons he was chosen to be the pioneer. I find it very difficult to believe that stress from his career killed him sixteen years after his playing days were over.
Apparently you have very little idea of what Robinson had to go through and put up with. It was beyond appalling. And he had prmised Branch Rickey that he wouldn't retaliate for 3 years.

The stresses caused by what Robinson went through in 1947 probably shortened his life by at least 5 years, and that's being conservative.
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Old 05-16-2003, 09:36 AM
zuma zuma is offline
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I highly doubt the stresses he went through being the first black in the major leagues led to a premature death. If ANYONE could handle the stress of this, Jackie was the man.

Jackie was a high-strung, tempermental, ultra-competitive bulldog of a player. And most people seem to overlook the fact that he was one of the best second basemen ever to play the game. It's almost a shame that his feats on the field take a backseat to his groundbreaking status as the first black in baseball. Well, I'm not diminishing what he went through as the first black, it's just that it overshadows his importance as one of the best players ever to play the game.

Anyway, Jackie was a no-bullshit "I won't take crap from anyone" type of guy, and he tempered that with the realization that he had to be mentally strong enough to take the racist bullshit he faced and turn the other cheek. This guy would be the LAST person to implode and die due to stress. Whatever killed Jackie, it wasn't the idiot baseball establishment.

As far as Satchel Paige is concerned, it was a publicity stunt by Charlie O. Finley. They set him up in a rocking chair in the dugout, and had the trainer apply linament to his 58 year old arm just like Jewbaby Floyd did in the old days, and one day in late september, Charlie told them to let him pitch. And 58 yo satch pitched 3 shutout innings and gave up just one hit, to Yaz. Satch was a truly amazing player.

When Satch died in the early 80s, I liked Buck O' Neill's line from his eulogy: "People say it's a shame that Satchel Paige never got to pitch against the best. But who's to say he didn't?"
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2003, 09:40 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Satchel Paige was added to the roster for a few months to allow him to qualify for a pension. The fact that he got into a game was probably a publicity stunt.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2003, 10:02 AM
zuma zuma is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by herman_and_bill
He needed so many innings or games to be eligable for the HOF IIRC. Maybe for a pension, things are getting fuzzy here.
Satchel pitching at age 58 had nothing whatsoever to do with HOF requirements or pensions. Satch was ineligable for the HOF at the time, and stood no chance of meeting the requirements. Did they even have pensions at that time?

Anyway, the great Ted Williams first kicked the door open for the Negro League players to reach the hall of fame when he was inducted in 66. Ted said "I hope that someday Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson will be voted into the Hall of Fame as sumbols of the great Negro League players who are not here only because they weren't given the chance".

It took another 5 years for baseball to induct Satch. He was inducted in 1971. Satch was inducted solely on his Negro League career, not for his exploits in his 40s and 50s.

Also, not to digress again about the old Negro-Leaguers, but even in 1971 Cooperstown was not about to actually let Negros into the Hall of Fame Proper... they were a about to induct Satch and Gibson into a separate Negro League wing. There was much anger from all sides about that ridiculous idea. Satchel said "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen into a second-class immortal". Bowie Kuhn thankfully backed off from this stupid idea, and Satchel is now recognized in the same room as his peers.

I will quit babbling and veering off. Please carry on.
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2003, 10:15 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zuma
Satchel pitching at age 58 had nothing whatsoever to do with HOF requirements or pensions. Satch was ineligable for the HOF at the time, and stood no chance of meeting the requirements. Did they even have pensions at that time?
They most certainly did have pensions. They've had them since 1947.

Very often, in the '60s, players would strive to at least get five years of service, since that was the minimum needed to qualify for the pension (this has since changed). Satchel Paige was on the roster for three months or so to give him the time necessary to qualify.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2003, 10:22 AM
zuma zuma is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zev_steinhardt
Satchel Paige was added to the roster for a few months to allow him to qualify for a pension. The fact that he got into a game was probably a publicity stunt.

Zev Steinhardt
I thought it was that Atlanta Braves, not the KC Athletics, who signed satch on as a coach (and this was in the early 70s, not the mid-late 60s) to qualify him for his pension.

And frankly, even if the Atlanta Braves were just being generous, I'm sure Satch was highly underpaid as a coach.

I might be wrong in my facts but I'm pretty sure that the A's stint was a publicity stunt and the Braves coaching job years later is rightly or wrongly considered to be the pension-qualifying job?

I'm sure someone will be along soon to clear this up.
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2003, 10:43 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by zuma
I might be wrong in my facts but I'm pretty sure that the A's stint was a publicity stunt and the Braves coaching job years later is rightly or wrongly considered to be the pension-qualifying job?

I'm sure someone will be along soon to clear this up.
Whoops. You're right (except for the timing of Satch's coaching stint). I was mixing the two up. The A's game in 1965 was a publicity stunt. His "player-coaching" stint with the Braves (which was in 1968) was in order to qualify for a pension. He never appeared in a game for the Braves that year, even though he was on the roster for 158 days.

Zev Steinhardt
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  #19  
Old 05-17-2003, 01:49 AM
doctordoowop doctordoowop is offline
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Actually it takes YEARS for diabetes to kill the patient. Once set in motion, there is severe blood vessel disease, affecting mostly the kidneys, heart, & eyes (I also believe Robby was blind or close to it when he died). Of course, there is no proof generally, or w/Robby specifically,of the PERMANENT effect of stress on the course of diabetes.
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