Sports Spotlight: Satchel Paige

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 9:58 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The baseball part of Satchel Paige time in Bismarck is well documented, but not much is known about where the Hall of Famer lived during his time in the Capital City. That’s the subject of this week’s Sports Spotlight.

Satchel Paige is one of the best pitchers in baseball history, and in 1935 he played in Bismarck.

Jack Schwartz has lived next to a log cabin since the ’60s. He bought it in 1998 with the idea of turning it into a garage; his plans changed.

“I started looking at the abstracts of the property and the property next door, and I saw on the abstract that this property from 1929 to 1936 had been owned by Corwin, Corwin-Churchill. And then, I thought, ‘Oh,’ and I started getting a tie with Satchel being here,” said Schwartz.

S.W. Corwin and Neil Churchill were business partners but it was Churchill who owned the integrated baseball team, which makes the connection to this property significant.

“I thought, ‘Well, this was an old log cabin up here up along the old river bank that would have been a natural place for Satchel to stay because I was told that they didn’t like colored people or black men to stay in the hotel downtown in those days, anyway.’ I thought, ‘Ah, there was some truth to this,”' said Schwartz.

Schwartz quickly shifted his focus from building a garage to preserving history.

”My son, Mike, he said, ‘Let’s tear this down, and we’ll put a garage on here.’ And I said, ‘No if Satchel stayed here, and this big stone fire place.’ I said: ‘No, we can’t tear it down. This building sits too comfortable here, and it’s got some history to it,’” said Schwartz.

Schwartz has been restoring the cabin ever since.

Satchel’s family did not know this and Schwartz did not know I reached out to one of Paige’s kids.

Satchel’s daughter responded: “Mr. Schwartz, I am Pamela O’neal the oldest daughter of Leroy Satchel Paige, and I am speaking for myself and my family. We do not have all the words to thank you for your endeavor, and we are so appreciative and hopefully we could come and have the experience of being in that house. Thank you very much from the Paige family.”

Schwartz said: “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I’m going to run that again!”

Pamela added the Bismarck cabin was a fine fit for her father.

“He was in a perfect situation. He loved to hunt, and he loved to fish and talk about ideal that was it,” said O’Neal*

Schwartz said he would love to have the Paige family visit the cabin some day.

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