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Satchel Paige was a legendary pitcher whose prime years were spent in relative obscurity in the Negro Leagues, and eventually became the first Negro Leaguer to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. When he finally broke into the big leagues at age 42, he had five seasons left in his right arm (not counting a 1965 one-game publicity stunt). In 1951, Paige joined the St. Louis Browns, and this is the only game-worn Browns jersey of his that we know of. The ultra-rare and highly desirable home jersey has Rawlings size 44 tagging in the collar, "BROWNS" in felt across the front and number "22" in felt on the back. There is a zipper down the front and American League Golden Anniversary patch on the left sleeve. "Paige 51" is chain-stitched on the front tail and "Dry Clean Only" tag inside the front tail. The "BROWNS" on the front and "22" on the back have been restored since they were taken off when this jersey was sent to the minors. They were restored with modern felt and are very close to the original lettering and numbering. It appears that several numbers have been on the back of this jersey, possibly even one with three digits. Although the Anniversary patch on the left sleeve is vintage and authentic, it appears that it was, at one time, removed and sewn back on at a later date. The zipper, pipping and name in the tail of this jersey are all original. Mears has graded the jersey as authentic and given it a 5 out of 10. Four points have been deducted for front and back restoration, .5 of a point for the patch being reattached and .5 of a point for soiling. The jersey shows good use but is not ripped or torn. Paige went 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA in 1951 at age 45 and would remain with the Browns until his retirement two years later. While with eight Negro League teams from 1926-43, Paige was named to five All-Star Teams. He won his only World Series with the 1948 Cleveland Indians as the oldest rookie in Major League history.
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