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Satchel Paige Cards, Rookie Cards and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Satchel Paige

Date of Birth: 7/7/1906

Rookie Card Year: 1949

Investment Rating: 9.0


Satchel Paige was the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame based upon his play in the Negro Leagues. And his achievements were legendary. His career lasted long enough to see desegregation in the Major Leagues. Paige's MLB career saw him play for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Kansas City Athletics. The combination of his tremendous play and historical contributions have given Satchel Paige cards and memorabilia a dedicated following, even today.

Most collectors generally accept that Satchel Paige has two official rookie cards, 1948-49 Leaf and 1949 Bowman. Both cards picture him as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Additionally, Paige has team-issued cards from both the 1948 and 1949 seasons as well as a card issued by the Cleveland Sun in 1949.

Satchel Paige's first autographed card is a minor league promotional card from the 1976 Tulsa Oilers set. It is his only on-card autograph and is considered very rare. His first card produced by a major trading card manufacturer is from the 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends set. It is a one-of-one cut signatures. Upper Deck would go on to produce 36 cut signature cards of Paige for inclusion in 2001 SP Legendary Cuts.

His first memorabilia card was issued in 2002 Topps Heritage and consisted of a seat relic. His first game-worn cards were released by Donruss/Playoff and Upper Deck in 2004. The cards from Donruss/Playoff feature a swatch of a Satchel Paige game-worn jersey and were included in 2004 Leaf Certified and 2004 Prime Cuts II. 2004 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection has Satchel Paige cards with a swatch of game-worn uniform pants.

Satchel Paige autographed memorabilia is highly in demand. As a result, there are a fair number of forged items in the marketplace. Collectors should take extra caution when looking to purchase a signed piece of Satchel Paige memorabilia.

Satchel Paige Rookie Cards

1948-49 Leaf Satchel Paige RC #8 SP

Satchel Paige Cards, Rookie Cards and Autographed Memorabilia Guide 1

Despite being photographed mid-blink, the exuberance on his face cannot be missed. Being allowed to finally play in the Major Leagues after years of segregation must have been an overwhelmingly emotional experience. This card shares that emotion. The cards measure 2 3/8" x 2 7/8" and is a short-print. There has been a longtime debate about when the 1948-49 Leaf set was actually released. Because a lot of signs point to 1949, most collectors accept both this and his 1949 Bowman card below as being Satchel Paige rookie cards.

1949 Bowman Satchel Paige RC #224

Satchel Paige Cards, Rookie Cards and Autographed Memorabilia Guide 2

This 1949 Bowman has been a long-time favorite of vintage collectors. The card measures 2 1/16" x 2 1/2" making it slightly smaller than its Leaf counterpart. Some critics have knocked the design for having the nameplate intrude into the photo area. The cards are designated as R406-2 in the American Card Catalog.

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Autograph Guide

Satchel Paige Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Satchel Paige's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication companySome of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Mounted Memories and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Satchel Paige Cut Signature Exemplar

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Satchel Paige Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Satchel Paige signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. The signature is written in cursive.
  2. It is often seen written on a rising angle from start to finish of about 30 degrees.
  3. The majority of the letters are discernible.
  4. The "S" and "P" are larger than the other letters.
  5. The "t" is crossed longer to the left-hand side of the vertical line.
  6. The loop in the "P" is oval in shape.

Satchel Paige Signed Memorabilia

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More Info

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Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

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