Satchel Paige was the oldest legendary pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was born on July 7, 1906 in Mobile, Alabama. He began in the Negro leagues in the 1920’s. Satchel moved from one team to the other, often pitching hundreds of games a year. On July 7, 1948, Bill Veeck signed Satchel with the Indians. He was the first African-American pitcher to pitch in the World Series. He played for Birmingham Black Barons (1927-1930), Pittsburgh Crawfords (1931-1634, 1936), Kansas City Monarchs (1935, 1940-1947), Cleveland Indians (1948-1949), St. Louis Browns (1951-1953), and Kansas City Royals (1965). In 1971, he was elected to the Hall of Fame for the first electee of the Committee on the Negro Baseball League.
Before Guion “Guy” Bluford, Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. was selected to be the first African American Astronaut. He was born on October 2, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois. Robert has a B.A. in Chemistry from Bradley University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Ohio State University. He was selected as an astronaut in June 1967. In December of that year, Robert was in a terrible plane crash during a flight training and was killed instantly. He was awarded the Purple Heart and his name was inscribed on the Space Mirror Memorial.