This Date in Baseball History – May 31st

Satchel Paige

On May 31st, 1942, in a segregated society, baseball strained the racial divide. Satchel Paige and the Homestead Grays of the Negro National League faced a team of all-white barnstorming All-Stars headed up by St. Louis Cardinals legend Dizzy Dean at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C..

Dean came out of retirement when the United States entered World War II, putting together a group of players to barnstorm ballparks all across the country. Paige and Dean had met before; just a week before, in fact, when Paige pitched against Dean’s All-Stars for the Kansas City Monarchs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, marking the first time a Negro League team played at Wrigley.

Mick Gillispie told the story of that day in the Nation’s Capital during the Smokies game with the Birmingham Barons on Saturday.

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Categories: This Date in Baseball History


The Smokies Radio Network is the official radio network for the Chicago Cubs AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. Daily broadcasts begin with the Pilot-Oscar Mayer pre-game show airing 15 minutes before every game. Following the game the broadcast concludes with the Edward Jones Investments post-game show. The Smokies Radio Network staff includes the Director of Broadcasting Mick Gillispie, Sr. Broadcast Assistant Greg Young, Broadcast Assistant Keith Brake and Broadcast Intern James Rowe.


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