Satchel Paige baseball card drawing big-money bids

To call Card No. 8 in the 1948 Leaf baseball set the "rookie" card of Satchel Paige is almost laughable. But technically it is, even though the Mobile native had been playing professional baseball for 22 years by then.

After more than two decades spent becoming a household name in the Negro Leagues in the days of segregated baseball, Paige became the first black pitcher in American League history two days past his 42nd birthday in 1948.

In its current online auction, Leland's is offering the first card produced of "the most picturesque player in baseball," according to the back of the card.

The minimum bid on the card was set at $10,000, and at 11 p.m. CDT Tuesday, the bidding had reached $17,716.

The value of the card lies not just in its subject, but in its condition. The card was graded as near mint 7 by Professional Sports Authenticator. Leland's said PSA had graded only five of Paige's rookie cards in better condition.

The card erroneously shows Paige's age as 40, but then, the pitcher's age always was a moving target during his career.

Leland's current auction is open until 9 p.m. CDT Aug. 17.

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