American football in Western Pennsylvania
American football in Western Pennsylvania, featuring the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, has had a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the sport. All levels of football, including high school football and college football, are followed passionately, the area's National Football League team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of the sport's most popular teams. Many of the NFL's top stars have come from the region as well those that play quarterback, earning Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks". In the early 20th century, football began to catch on in the general population of the United States and was the subject of intense competition and rivalry, albeit of a localized nature. Although payments to players were considered unsporting and dishonorable at the time, a Pittsburgh area club, the Allegheny Athletic Association, of the unofficial western Pennsylvania football circuit, surreptitiously hired former Yale All-American guard William "Pudge" Heffelfinger.
On November 12, 1892, Heffelfinger became the first known professional football player. He was paid $500 to play in a game against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. Heffelfinger picked up a Pittsburgh fumble and ran 35 yards for a touchdown, winning the game 4–0 for Allegheny. Although observers held suspicions, the payment remained a secret for years. A year Ben "Sport" Donnelly became the first professional football coach, when he headed up the Allegheny Athletic Association team. Meanwhile, a player assumed to be Grant Dibert of the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, signed the first known pro football contract, which covered all of the clubs games for the 1893 season. On September 3, 1895 the first wholly professional game was played, in Latrobe, between the Latrobe Athletic Association and the Jeannette Athletic Club. Latrobe won the contest 12–0. During this game, Latrobe's quarterback, John Brallier became the first player to admit to being paid to play football, he was paid $10 plus expenses to play.
In 1897, the Latrobe Athletic Association paid all of its players for the whole season, becoming the first professional football team. From 1890 until 1900, nearby Greensburg, Pennsylvania was the home of the Greensburg Athletic Association; the team began as an amateur football club in 1890 and was composed of locals before several paid players were added for 1895. In 1894 it was discovered that the team had secretly paid Indiana Normal player, Lawson Fiscus, to play football and retained his services on salary; the team was the chief rival of another early professional football team, the Latrobe Athletic Association. Aside from Fiscus, the Greensburg Athletic Association included several of the era's top players, such as: Charlie Atherton, George Barclay, Ross Fiscus, Jack Gass, Arthur McFarland, Charles Rinehart, Isaac Seneca and Adam Martin Wyant. Several of these players revolutionized the game during their playing careers. Charlie Atherton is credited with inventing the place kick, George Barclay invented the first-ever football helmet.
Meanwhile, Isaac Seneca became the first Native-American to earn All-American honors and Adam Wyant was the first professional football player to become a United States Congressman. In 1898, William Chase Temple took over the team payments for the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, a professional football team based in Pittsburgh from 1895 until 1900, becoming the first known individual football club owner. A year in 1899, the Morgan Athletic Club, on the South Side of Chicago, was founded; this team became the Chicago Cardinals, now is known as the Arizona Cardinals, making them the oldest continuously operating professional football team. The Cardinals would merge with the Steelers for one season in 1944 due to player shortages as a result of World War II, with the two teams meeting in Super Bowl XLIII over six decades later; the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club would become the top pro team in the state in 1898 and 1899. In 1898 Latrobe and two players from the Greensburg Athletic Association, formed the first professional football all-star team for a game against the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club, to be played at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park.
Duquesne went on to win the game 16-0. On November 18, 1905, Latrobe defeated the Canton Bulldogs, which became a founding member, two-time champion, of the National Football League, 6-0; the Homestead Library & Athletic Club, fielded the top pro team in the state in 1900–1901. In 1902 the top players in the area from the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club line-up, formed the Pittsburgh Stars of the first National Football League; the Stars were suspected of being financed by Barney Dreyfuss and William Chase Temple, the owners of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, who were at the time the dominant team in the National League. The Stars featured baseball players in the line-up including Christy Mathewson, a future Hall of Fame pitcher with the New York Giants and Fred Crolius, outfielder with Pirates; the team won the league's only championship in 1902. In 1903, Pennsylvania was the home of the Franklin Athletic Club; that season, the team was unofficially recognized as the "US Football Champions" and won the 1903 World Series of Football, held that December at Madison Square Garden.
The team included several of the era's top players, such as: Herman Kerchoff, Arthur McFarland, Clark Schrontz, Paul Steinberg, Pop Sweet, Eddie Wood, coach Blondy Wallace. Other early professional football teams from western Pennsylvania include. In 1933, as the oldest of nine children Art Rooney, raised on the North Side of Pit
The Mylan Classic was a golf tournament on the Web.com Tour. It was played for the first time in September 2010 at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh; the title sponsor was a pharmaceuticals company based in Canonsburg. Beginning in 2013, the tournament will invite top collegiate players to the event as the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational had done from 2007 to 2012; the 2013 purse was US$675,000, with $121,500 going to the winner. Bolded golfers graduated to the PGA Tour via the Web.com Tour regular-season money list. Coverage on the Web.com Tour's official site
Western Pennsylvania Hockey League
The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League, was a semi-professional ice hockey league founded in 1896 and existing through the 1910s. Based in Pittsburgh, the league was the pre-eminent ice hockey league at the time in the United States, it was the first league to hire and trade players. In 1895, Pittsburgh officials, constructed the Schenley Park Casino which featured the first artificial ice-making plant in North America; the 1895-96 winter season saw the first introduction of hockey in the city. On December 30, 1895, the Pittsburgh Press made mention of a “great international hockey and polo tournament” opening game at the Casino; the newspaper reported that a team consisting of ten players from Queen's University played against a group of local players from Western University and Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost and a half-hour of exhibition of hockey was played before the polo match. The paper noted. No score or records were kept but the paper did note that the team from Queen's University outplayed the Pittsburghers, who had never played the game before.
The city realized that in order to make money they would need to have more events than just speed skating, family skates and costume parties to make money. They decided that since hockey was a new game, it could catch on in Pittsburgh. Sometime between the Queen's game and November 1896, the Casino's management decided to organize two leagues at the rink; the league played its first season in 1896–97 at the Casino, with four teams—the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, the Duquesne Country & Athletic Club, Western University of Pennsylvania and a team known as Pittsburgh, or the'Casino' team. The PAC was managed by Charles S. Miller; the league played at the Casino twice a week, on Friday nights. The first "big league" season game was November 17, 1896 between Duquesne and PAC, won by Duquesne 2–1. Play continued until December 16, when the Casino rink was destroyed by fire, along with the hockey equipment of most of the teams; the league dissolved without a championship. The league would remain dormant until 1899 and the erection of a hockey rink at the Duquesne Gardens.
The league was revived with three teams, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, Pittsburgh Duquesne and Western University. The PAC won the league's first championship; the following season the Pittsburgh Bankers, composed of bankers, were admitted to the league, while the Pittsburgh Athletic Club repeated as champions. Despite the fact that the league could be traced back to 1895, the WPHL wasn't started until the 1901-02 season. In 1901, Arthur Sixsmith, a former member of the Ottawa Senators, traveled to Pittsburgh and met with local promoter Arthur McSwigan; the two men, along with the manager of the Duquesne Gardens, James Wallace Conant formally established the WPHL. By 1902, Sixsmith convinced several Canadian players, including his brother Garnet Sixsmith, to come to Pittsburgh and play in the new league. In 1901, the Keystone Bicycle Club was admitted to the league, replacing Western University; the Keystones were instrumental in changing the league from amateur to professional, were the first to import players from Canada.
The Pittsburgh Athletic Club repeated as champions, although the Keystones were competitive. In one memorable game that occurred during this era, the WPHL's Garnet Sixsmith scored 11 goals in a game at the Duqesne Gardens; the 1901–02 season is considered the first season whereby the league was recognized as professional, the first professional ice hockey league. The league had three teams in 1901-02: Pittsburgh Bankers, Pittsburgh Athletic Club and the Pittsburgh Keystones. To fill these teams, many business and organizations imported young Canadians like George Lamb and William "Pud" Hamilton and set up teams; the league lured players from Canada with promises of high-paid employment and small cash incentives, around $30 a week. At this time all Canadian associations were still amateur, since many of the players had been expelled from hockey in Canada for being professionals. However, according to Garnet Sixsmith, who played in the league between 1902–1910, the players were paid between $10–$15 a week and each were given jobs on the side.
Each team, consisted of a manager, paid a lump sum of money to have a team on the ice. The less money the manager had to pay the more money that manager got to keep; as a result, the Pittsburgh teams were able to get many great players such as future Hall of Famers Alf Smith, Hod Stuart and Riley Hern. These players played for pay in Pittsburgh forcing the Canadian leagues to go pro in 1907, a development that led directly to the formation of the National Hockey League in 1917. However, in the summer of 1902 Harry Peel, a Keystones player in 1901-02, admitted that he was paid $35 a week to play in the so-called amateur league and so no amateur teams would play against these teams again without being suspended by either Canadian, or U. S. officials. Peel was suspended by the Ontario Hockey Association and an appeal was rejected on December 10, 1903 and again on November 30, 1904. According to Peel, "They make no bones. If they do not pay them they give them fake positions". However, by the start of the 1902-03 season the WPHL was now a professional league with the Pittsburgh Victorias making a fourth WPHL tea
Hill District (Pittsburgh)
The Hill District is a historic black collection of neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Beginning in the years leading up to World War I "the Hill" was the cultural center of black life in the city and a major center of jazz. Despite its cultural and economic vibrancy, in the mid-1950s a substantial area was slated for redevelopment, displacing about 8,000 individuals and leading to the neighborhood's dramatic economic decline; the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as of 2010 the area comprises Census Tracts 305, 501, 506, 509, 510 and 511. It is bordered by the Downtown on the west, the Strip District next to the Allegheny River and Polish Hill to the north, the Bluff on the southwest, Oakland on the east and southeast; the census tract/neighborhoods noted in the Hill District are represented on the Pittsburgh City Council by the council member for District 6. Part of the Upper Hill is represented under District 7; the 15219 ZIP code covers all five neighborhoods, the 15213 ZIP code covers part of Terrace Village and the Upper Hill.
Following the rebellion by slaves and gaining of independence of Haiti in 1804, the free African-American community of the Hill District, Pittsburgh's oldest black community, was called "Little Haiti." The early residents of the Hill District were middle-class free blacks. In 2004 the Pittsburgh City Council announced commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Haiti's independence. Beginning in the 1910s, the Hill attracted migrants from elsewhere in the United States and from abroad; the neighborhood's black population exploded from around 10,000 in 1890 to over 37,000 by 1920. The influx of so many new residents resulted in a housing shortage, exacerbated by the rigid system of segregation that limited potential dwellings for blacks entirely to the Hill District; the experience of young, single black men underscored the severity of the housing crisis. By virtue of housing segregation and their marital status, these men crammed into the limited number of units available in the district; the result was an epidemic of cramped boarding houses where workers slept in shifts, as one 1969 study showed when it stated:"Men who work at night sleep during the day in the beds vacated by day workers.
There is no space in these rooms, except for beds and as many of them are crowded in as can be accommodated." The Hill developed a vibrant entertainment district that turned the area into a cultural hub for music the jazz genre. Black entrepreneurs established and ran a large roster of nightspots that included nightclubs and gambling dens, all of which required a constant influx of musical acts to keep guests entertained; this concentration of entertainment spots along Wylie Avenue, Fullerton Street, Center Avenue provided ready venues for both famous national acts and upstart local artists to perform. A short list of the more well-known spots consisted of the following institutions: The Crawford Grill The Collins Inn The Humming Bird The Leader House The ToonTown Hub Derby Dan's Harlem Bar Musician's Club Sawdust Trail The Fullerton InnThe establishment of such robust entertainment infrastructure allowed for the proliferation of musical entertainment in the neighborhood when it came to jazz.
Nationally known artists such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington made the Hill District a regular stop on national tours. In fact it was after a performance at the Lincoln Tavern that the nationally-syndicated black-run newspaper "The Pittsburgh Courier" crowned Ellington "the King of Jazz."The presence of such a vibrant entertainment district proved most instrumental to the development of Pittsburgh-reared jazz musicians. As historian Colter Harper notes, this thriving environment of entertainment venues served as a training ground for young innovators who needed regular employment to develop ideas and techniques, places in which to network with each other, audiences for feedback, club managers to aid in accessing the music scene in other cities; the benefits of networking showed themselves through mentor-ship opportunities, as famous musicians could provide young artists with crucial career and technical advice. This was the case with renowned Pittsburgh-reared jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, whose distinct left-hand-dominated playing style could be traced back to her youthful interactions with touring vaudeville artist Jack Howard as he played shows in the city.
That phrase would be popularized by radio DJ Mary Dee, of WHOD Radio, Pittsburgh's only black radio station. The district had cultural vibrancy, numerous successful entertainment venues and black-owned businesses, but much of the housing was aged and substandard. Following World War II, the federal government committed to upgrade housing across the nation, in Pittsburgh, 95 acres of the Hill District were selected for redevelopment. In an article from 1943, George E. Evans, a member of the City Council, reasoned that public-private redevelopment could provide significant employment to returning war veterans, while ameliorating what he saw as an area beset by deterioration and urban blight, he wrote, "The Hill District of Pittsburgh is one of the most outstanding examples in Pittsburgh of neighborhood deterioration... There are 7,000 separate property owne
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline; the Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929. Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession; some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries the negative effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II; the Great Depression had devastating effects in countries both poor. Personal income, tax revenue and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%.
Unemployment in the U. S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities around the world were hit hard those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%. Facing plummeting demand with few alternative sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as mining and logging suffered the most. Economic historians attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of U. S. stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. However, some dispute this conclusion and see the stock crash as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the Great Depression. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 optimism persisted for some time. John D. Rockefeller said "These are days. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again." The stock market turned upward in early 1930. This was still 30% below the peak of September 1929.
Together and business spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. On the other hand, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by 10%. In addition, beginning in the mid-1930s, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the U. S. By mid-1930, interest rates had dropped to low levels, but expected deflation and the continuing reluctance of people to borrow meant that consumer spending and investment were depressed. By May 1930, automobile sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, although wages held steady in 1930. A deflationary spiral started in 1931. Farmers faced a worse outlook. At its peak, the Great Depression saw nearly 10% of all Great Plains farms change hands despite federal assistance; the decline in the U. S. economy was the factor. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.
S. Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By 1933, the economic decline had pushed world trade to one-third of its level just four years earlier. Change in economic indicators 1929–32 The two classical competing theories of the Great Depression are the Keynesian and the monetarist explanation. There are various heterodox theories that downplay or reject the explanations of the Keynesians and monetarists; the consensus among demand-driven theories is that a large-scale loss of confidence led to a sudden reduction in consumption and investment spending. Once panic and deflation set in, many people believed they could avoid further losses by keeping clear of the markets. Holding money became profitable as prices dropped lower and a given amount of money bought more goods, exacerbating the drop in demand. Monetarists believe that the Great Depression started as an ordinary recession, but the shrinking of the money supply exacerbated the economic situation, causing a recession to descend into the Great Depression.
Economists and economic historians are evenly split as to whether the traditional monetary explanation that monetary forces were the primary cause of the Great Depression is right, or the traditional Keynesian explanation that a fall in autonomous spending investment, is the primary explanation for the onset of the Great Depression. Today the controversy is of lesser importance since there is mainstream support for the debt deflation theory and the expectations hypothesis that building on the monetary explanation of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz add non-monetary explanations. There is consensus that the Federal Reserve System should have cut short the process of monetary deflation and banking collapse. If they had done this, the economic downturn would have been much shorter. British economist John Maynard Keynes argued in The General Theory of Employment and Money that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment, well below the average.
In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment. Keynes' basic idea was simple
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was an American Negro league baseball and Major League Baseball pitcher, notable for his longevity in the game, for attracting record crowds wherever he pitched. Paige was a right-handed pitcher, at age 42 in 1948, was the oldest major league rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians, he played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953, he was the first player who had played in the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series, in 1948, was the first electee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1971. Paige first played for the semi-professional Mobile Tigers from 1924 to 1926, he began his professional baseball career in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League and became one of the most famous and successful players from the Negro leagues. While his outstanding control as a pitcher first got him noticed, it was his infectious, enthusiastic personality and his love for the game that made him a star.
On town tours across the United States, Paige would sometimes have his infielders sit down behind him and routinely strike out the side. He played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League. While Satchel Paige was playing baseball, many ages and birthdates were reported, ranging from 1900 to 1908. Paige himself was the source of many of these dates, his actual birthdate, July 7, 1906, was determined in 1948 when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck traveled to Mobile and accompanied Paige's family to the County Health Department to obtain his birth certificate. Paige's birth certificate is displayed in his autobiography. In 1959, Paige's mother told a reporter that he was 55 rather than 53, saying she knew this because she wrote it down in her Bible. Paige wrote in his autobiography, "Seems like Mom's Bible would know, but she ain't shown me the Bible. Anyway, she was in her nineties when she told the reporter that, sometimes she tended to forget things."
Satchel was born Leroy Robert Page to John Page, a gardener, Lula Page, a domestic worker, in a section of Mobile, Alabama known as Down the Bay. Lula and her children changed the spelling of their name from Page to Paige in the mid-1920s, just before the start of Satchel's baseball career. Lula said, "Page looked too much like a page in a book", whereas Satchel explained, "My folks started out by spelling their name'Page' and stuck in the'i' to make themselves sound more high-tone." The introduction of the new spelling coincided with the death of Satchel's father, may have suggested a desire for a new start. According to Paige, his nickname originated from childhood work toting bags at the train station, he said he was not making enough money at a dime a bag, so he used a pole and rope to build a contraption that allowed him to cart up to four bags at once. Another kid yelled, "You look like a walking satchel tree." A different story was told by boyhood friend and neighbor, Wilber Hines, who said he gave Paige the nickname after he was caught trying to steal a bag.
At the age of ten, Satchel was playing "top ball", what got him into baseball. "Top ball" was a kids' game that used sticks and bottle caps instead of baseballs and bats to play a variation of the diamond sport. Satchel's mother, would comment on how Satchel would rather "play baseball than eat, it was always baseball, baseball."On July 24, 1918, just seventeen days after his twelfth birthday, Leroy was sentenced to six years—or until his eighteenth birthday, whichever came first -– at the Alabama Reform School for Juvenile Negro Law-Breakers in Mount Meigs, Alabama. It is believed that he was sent off to reform school because of shoplifting. New research shows that it was the rock throwing battles that Leroy and friends engaged in against the white boys of the nearby Oakdale School, the major reason he was sentenced to reform school, it is fictitious that someone named Edward Byrd taught Leroy how to pitch while he was at Mount Meigs. There was no one at the school or in the vicinity named Byrd.
The person who taught Leroy to pitch while in reform school was the Reverend Moses Davis. It was Davis, a trustee of the school, who devoted the long hours coaching the boys in baseball, it was he who struck the deal with the sporting-goods store in Montgomery to secure the team's first uniforms. Davis was African American as was the entire teaching staff at Mount Meigs including the school's founder, Cornelia Bowen, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute. One can question the goals of industrial schooling and the quality of academic education provided to the inmates at Mount Meigs, but when Leroy was released from the institution in December 1923, seven months short of his eighteen birthday, he did take with him something that would prove invaluable and last a lifetime. He summed up his years of incarceration: "I traded five years of freedom to learn how to pitch. At least I started my real learning on the Mount." He learned more than that, as he would add to his statement in years regarding his experience at Mount Meigs: "They were not wasted years at all.
It made a real man out of me." After his release, Paige played for several Mobile semi-pro teams. He joined the semi-pro Mobile Tigers where his brother Wilson was pitching, he pitched for a semi-pro team named the "Down the Bay Boys", he recalled that he once got into a jam in the ninth inning of a 1–0 ballgame when his teammates made three consecutive errors, loading the bases for the other team with two outs. Angry, Paige said; the fans sta