To Canada with love: Satchel Paige and baseball diplomacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Satchel Paige's gala baseball performances in Canada had meaning at multiple levels when assessed within the context of US-Canadian relations, individual and national identity, race, the struggle for equality and the place of culture-sport and baseball in particular-in international relations and diplomacy. Paige was one of baseball's foremost globetrotters, and the premier African-American baseball ambassador without portfolio. His pitching talents and economic importance ignited passions across the borders, commencing in the 1920s and continuing over four decades. He rarely travelled less than 40,000 miles a year throughout the USA and to foreign shores wherever duty called, and there was the promise of a good payday. The great fireballer for hire and other star black ballplayers relished playing south of the border because of the freedom from Jim Crow. It is often overlooked that they loved playing north of the border as well, in Canada in particular. That play, as argued here, had symbolic and substantive international significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 22 2015


  • Negro Leagues baseball
  • Satchel Paige
  • diplomacy
  • international relations
  • sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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