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BASEBALL PLUS

By The Numbers

A Generation Gap

August 13, 2000

15: When Joe Nuxhall pitched for the Cincinnati Reds on June 10, 1944, he was, and still is, the youngest player ever to play in a major league game. Nuxhall was 15 years, 10 months and 11 days old. Nuxhall pitched in only that game that year and he didn't do too well. He didn't get anyone out, allowing two hits and five walks at a time when major league teams were forced to find replacements for the many players who were off fighting in World War II. He returned to the majors in 1952 at the age of 24, again with the Reds, and had a fairly successful 15-year career. Nuxhall won 135 games, had a career 3.90 earned-run average and even was named to the All-Star team twice.

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59: When Satchel Paige took the mound in Kansas City on Sept. 25, 1965, at the age of 59 years, 2 months and 18 days, he became the oldest to ever play in the majors. Paige was not pitching regularly at that time--his major league career effectively ended in 1953. But he pitched one game for the A's (they now play in Oakland), in the city where he gained much of his fame as a member of the Monarchs in the Negro League. Paige pitched three scoreless innings that day, allowing one hit and striking out one. His career began in 1926, but he didn't pitch in the majors until 1948, a year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Though he was already 42 when he was a rookie, Paige pitched well for the Indians and St. Louis Browns, making two All-Star teams and finishing with a 3.29 career ERA.

Source: Major League Baseball

Reporter: Bob Rohwer

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