Most historians believe that Paige was 42 years old at that time. There is no doubt that Satchel Paige was the oldest “rookie” ever to play in the majors when he was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1948. However, his exact age is not known with certainty.
Throughout his career, Paige was very secretive about his age. He delighted in confounding sports writers who were in constant controversy about his age, and he regarded his secret as one more factor in the Satchel Paige mystique that made him black baseball’s most popular figure for four decades.