Paige liked to stir up controversy about his birth date, and his age was always a matter of conjecture during his playing career, but it’s no longer questioned that he was born July 7, 1906, meaning he was two days past his 42nd birthday when he made his debut with the Cleveland Indians.He pitched regularly in the majors past his 47th birthday, was still an outstanding pitcher in the minors the year he turned 52, and pitched three shutout innings in a regular season major league game when he was 59.
After the 1943 season, Tigers general manager Jack Zeller was desperate for outfielders because of players called to military service, and among the people he queried searching for replacements was Red Phillips, a Tiger pitcher in the mid-’30s who was doing some umpiring around Wichita.
Phillips recommended Hostetler, and once Zeller talked to Chuck and received assurances he was still in good physical condition (“I’m one of those wiry fellows who doesn’t put on much weight,” Hostetler reportedly told Zeller), Zeller invited Hostetler to spring training.
Another thing almost all of them have in common: they were very good players, somewhere, for a long time.
Satchel Paige is the only player on this list in the Baseball Hall of Fame, enshrined largely for his achievements in the Negro Leagues and as a barnstormer before he reached the majors once the de facto ban on black players was lifted with the arrival of Jackie Robinson.
Hostetler hit .350 in exhibition games and was second on the team in runs batted in, earning a spot on the regular season roster.
He finished the season with a .298 batting average in 90 games, 65 of which he started in the outfield, and was named to The Sporting News’ all-rookie team.
He was back at Columbus in 1961 and was named the IL’s Pitcher of the Year at age 42, then returned to Pittsburgh in ’62 and had a solid year pitching out of the bullpen at age 43.
Chuck Hostetler, the oldest man ever to bat in his first major league game (and the oldest man to get a hit in his debut), was also older than he claimed to be when he arrived in the big leagues.
Yet, when it comes to finding something to watch, I will invariably choose a film I’ve seen many times. Thanks to the advent of cable, where the same movie is sometimes shown upwards of ten times a week, I will even watch portions of movies I’ve seen dozens of times over and over again. It’s not that I don’t want to see other movies — I’ve seen my fair share over the years — but something just draws me to certain movies and I just have to watch them.
I have cable TV with premium channels and thousands of on-demand choices. I’ve seen the following movies at least 50 times in my lifetime (in no particular order): The Graduate (1967) – My favorite movie. My Cousin Vinny (1992) – My favorite movie of the past 30 years.
No doubt Morris put the words in quotation marks because he knows he wasn’t actually the oldest man to reach the major leagues; in fact, an older rookie reached the majors the year after Morris.