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While his outstanding control as a pitcher first got him noticed, it was his infectious, cocky, enthusiastic personality and his love for the game that made him a star. 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. 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 ever shown me the Bible. Anyway, she was in her nineties when she told the reporter that, and sometimes she tended to forget things. 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 later 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, and may have suggested a desire for a new start.