Credit: Anchorage Daily News
Paige to lead City’s team, 1965
One of the best pitchers in the history of professional baseball, Satchel Paige, first made a name for himself in the Negro leagues before he joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948. At age 42, he was among the first Black players to integrate Major League Baseball and the first Black pitcher in the American League. After he retired, Paige came to Alaska in 1965 to play, claiming that he wanted to start a new Anchorage baseball team, the Earthquakers. Although the Earthquakers never took to the field, Alaskans certainly took to Satchel Paige and baseball. Aside from Satchel Paige, Alaska’s summer league drew dozens of well-known players over the years, including Dave Winfield, Barry Bonds, and Aaron Judge.