For that matter, Paige was not 46 when he pitched in the 1948 World Series, he was 42. Tall tales about Paige’s “Real age” have long been told, and Paige himself claimed to not know for sure (but he liked poking fun at reporters and seeing what he could get them to believe) but his birth certificate was quite literally found and confirmed by Bill Veeck in 1948. Paige was born on July 7, 1906, a date which incidentally makes total sense with regards to his big league career starting in 1927.
Crazy stories about Satchel Paige are more numerous than the actual facts. Of course no sane person would let him do something like that. In 1948, Paige walked 22 men, hit another, and gave up 61 hits and two homers, all in 72.2 innings. Very impressive numbers but not perfect, and a man with PERFECT control would walk and hit no one and give up way fewer hits than that. His control when he was younger wasn’t that much better, and he threw incredibly hard - Paige was very similar to Tom Seaver, or Max Scherzer if Scherzer remains good enough to pitch in the majors when he’s in his mid-40s, but Paige threw harder than Scherzer, at least relative to his peers. Gerrit Cole has amazing control; would anyone who doesn’t have a death wish let him try to pick a cigarette out of their mouth? Come on.
No, they just repeat Larry Tye saying it, which isn’t the same thing as reporting it happened.
Books about baseball are often appallingly ill-sourced and full of tall tales. Journalists often seem to figure if it’s baseball, it’s not important to get all the details right or cast a skeptical eye on anything.