Ted Page (baseball)

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Ted Page
Outfielder/First baseman
Born: (1903-04-22)April 22, 1903
Glasgow, Kentucky
Died: December 1, 1984(1984-12-01) (aged 81)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Right
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Theodore Roosevelt (Ted) Page (April 22, 1903 - December 1, 1984), nicknamed "Terrible Ted", was an American baseball player. From 1923 to 1937, Page played for numerous Negro league teams, including the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Page was born in Glasgow, Kentucky in 1903. In his early years, Page said that he had no awareness of racial differences. His family moved to Youngstown, Ohio when he was nine, and they lived in a neighborhood largely composed of families of European descent. He said that many of his childhood friends were Polish and Italian. Representatives from the Ohio State University football team pursued Page and his friend Joe Donchess, but Page did not finish high school and Donchess ended up as an All-American end at University of Pittsburgh.[1]

Career[edit]

In 1923, Page signed with the Toledo Tigers, but he was cut before playing a game. Over the next several seasons, he played for numerous Negro league teams, including the Newark Stars, Brooklyn Royal Giants and Baltimore Black Sox.[2]

Page played with the Homestead Grays in 1930 and 1931. Page is sometimes remembered for a fight that he had with Grays teammate George Scales. He knocked out two of Scales's teeth after Scales criticized his performance on the field. The fight was broken up, but Page slept with a gun in his hand that night and Scales kept a knife in his hand.[3] He moved on to the Pittsburgh Crawfords, where he batted in front of Cool Papa Bell.[4] Players on Gus Greenlee's Crawfords teams frequently worked for Greenlee in the offseason.[5] One winter after a Crawfords season, Page made $15 per week to act as a watchman at the numbers house of owner Gus Greenlee.[6] Teammate Judy Johnson once worked as Greenlee's chauffeur.[5]

In 1934, popular major league pitcher Dizzy Dean assembled a team of major league players and a team of Negro league players to tour large metropolitan areas and play exhibition games against each other. The Negro league team included Page, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Jud "Boojum" Wilson and Cool Papa Bell. The major league team included Paul Dean, Larry French and a retired Hack Wilson. Page said that his team won seven out of nine matchups.[7]

Later life and legacy[edit]

After retiring from baseball, Page operated a bowling alley in Pittsburgh.[8] He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.[9] Page was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat on December 1, 1984. Jeffrey Sullivan, 20, was charged with his murder. Sullivan had performed yard work for Page and said that Page owed him money. Sullivan was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.[9]

In August 2013, the Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project announced that it would hold a ceremony to mark Page's grave at Allegheny Cemetery in Pennsylvania. Page's ashes were thought to have been lost, but they were located in a community cellar at the cemetery. During his later life, Page raised money to mark the grave of Negro league star Josh Gibson at the same cemetery.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holway, John (2012). Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues: Revised Edition. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 141–150. ISBN 0486136477. 
  2. ^ "Ted Page". Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Lester, Larry and Miller, Sammy (2001). Black Baseball in Pittsburgh. Arcadia Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 0738505315. 
  4. ^ "Ted Page, 81, Found Slain;Former Negro League Star". The New York Times. December 5, 1984. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b O'Toole, Andrew (2003). The Best Man Plays: Major League Baseball and the Black Athlete, 1901-2002. McFarland. p. 31. ISBN 0786414944. 
  6. ^ McNeil, William (2007). Black Baseball Out of Season: Pay for Play Outside of the Negro Leagues. McFarland. p. 3. ISBN 0786429011. 
  7. ^ Barthel, Thomas (2007). Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games, 1901-1962: A History of Off-season Major League Play. McFarland. p. 129. ISBN 0786428112. 
  8. ^ LaRussa, Tony. "Marker now stands at the grave of Negro League standout". TribLive. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c Brooks, Kelton. "Marking a graying legacy for 'Terrible Ted' Page". Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 25, 2013.