Baseball related songs: “Satchel Paige said” by The Baseball Project


In today’s edition of Baseball related songs we pay attention to one of the many baseball songs of the Baseball Project: “Satchel Paige said.” The song comes from the band’s debut album Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

The Baseball Project is what they call a supergroup. The group was founded by two members of the band R.E.M. (Peter Buck and Mike Mills) and by Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, and Linda Pitmon. The band has the following setting:

Steve Wynn – vocals, guitars, organ, melodica
Scott McCaughey – vocals, bass, guitars, piano, accordion, harmonica, percussion
Linda Pitmon – drums, vocals, percussion
Peter Buck – guitars, electric sitar, mandolin, bouzouki, 6-string bass
Mike Mills – vocals, guitars

Formed in 2007 by the aforementioned members, The Baseball Project began as a way for a couple of fans to pay musical tribute to America’s  national pastime. The music of the Baseball Project can best be described as rock and their style can be compared with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The song “Satchel Paige said” is of course about Satchel Paige, perhaps the greatest pitcher of his time. He was the oldest rookie at the age of 42 when he debuted in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians. We will never know how good he really was as he was not allowed to play in the Major Leagues because of the color barrier that was broken by Jackie Robinson in 1947.

Paige is known for the many Yogi Berra like quotes. For example: “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” or “I ain’t ever had a job, I just always played baseball.”

The song “Satchel Paige said” refers to Josh Gibson in the sentence “Satchel Paige and the Brown Bambino, that’s an everlasting battery.” Gibson was named the black Babe Ruth (the Great Bambino) because of his home run hitting skills. Paige and Gibson played together in 1937 for the Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo from the Dominican Republic. The team was a dream team formed by dictator Rafael Trujillo and was a merger between the Tigres del Licey and the Leones del Escogido. They also were teammates with the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1932 – 1934 and 1936. Since Josh Gibson was a catcher, he and Paige were battery mates for several seasons.

The lyrics of the song are as follows:

Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you”
Satchel grew up in a shotgun shack, and he had a pile of shotguns, too
He carried so many bags on a pole that he looked just like a satchel tree
Satchel Paige and the Brown Bambino, that’s an everlasting battery

And we don’t look back, we don’t carry on (In society)
And we don’t sit still or we might rust
But at the same time, we don’t run, and we don’t look back

Satchel Paige said, “I could never be late, they could hardly start the game without me”
Satchel Paige didn’t get riled up, though his stomach surely had the miseries
So if you follow these few simple rules, you might have a long, productive run
Satchel pitched about a million games, no one ever did what he has done

And we don’t look back, we don’t carry on (In society)
And we don’t sit still or we might rust
But at the same time, we don’t run, and we don’t look back


The title of the debut album Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails may need some explanation for baseball fans outside the American continent. Most will know that a frozen rope is a monster of a line drive but you may be less familiar with the expression “dying quail.” A dying quail is a bloop hit that just drops behind the infield.

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