Let's take a break from the history and take it easy on this hot Sunday with a classic baseball related story. The following tale is an excerpt from famous negro leaguer Buck O'Neil's great book I Was Right on Time. O'Neil happened to be the very first African American MLB coach.
This story explains the origins of why his pal Satchel Paige had a unique nickname for him.
When Satchel and I were with the (Kansas City) Monarchs, we played this one
game on an Indian reservation near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was there
that Satchel, who had a weakness for a pretty face, and the more of them the
better, met this beautiful Indian maiden named Nancy, and since we were going to
Chicago to play the Chicago American Giants, he invited Nancy to visit him
there. She had some relatives there or something, so she accepted his
invitation, and he told her we were staying at the Evans Hotel.
Well, now we were in Chicago, and I was sitting in the coffee shop of the
Evans Hotel when I saw a cab pull up, and out stepped Nancy. I went out to
greet her and tell her that Satchel was upstairs, and the bellhop carried her
bags to his room.
A few minutes passed, and another cab pulled up, and this time out stepped
Satchel's fiance, Lahoma, who wasn't supposed to be coming by, as far as Satchel
knew. Seeing how this might complicate things just a little bit, I jumped
up and greeted her. "Lahoma", I said, "so good to see you. Satchel's
not here right now, but he should be along shortly. Why don't you sit here
with me, and I'll have the bellman take your bags up to the room?"
I went over to the bellman, explained the situation to him to move Nancy
and her bags into the room next to mine, which was also next door to Satchel's,
and then to knock on Satchel's door and tell him Lahoma was here. A few
minutes later, the bellman came down and gave me the sign that everything was
okay. In the meantime, Satchel had climbed down the fire escape, and lo
and behold, there he came, walking down the street.
I said, "Look, Lahoma, here comes old Satchel now." Satch gave her a
big greeting- "Lahoma, what a nice surprise!"- and led her upstairs.
That might have ended the trouble, except that later that night, after we
had turned in, I heard Satchel's door open and close. Then I heard
him knock on Nancy's door. I think he wanted to give her some money and
apologize, but while he's whispering kind of loud, "Nancy! Nancy!" I hear
his door open again, and I knew it was Lahoma coming out to see what was going
on. I jumped out of my bed, opened my door, and said, "Yeah, Satch.
What do you want?" And he said, "Why Nancy, there you are. I was
looking for you. What time is the game tomorrow?"
And from that night on, until his dying day, Satchel called me