LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Linda Paige Shelby believes she had a blessed childhood, growing up in her family home near 28th and Prospect in Kansas City.
“I would say I did,” Paige Shelby said.
She has fond memories of her early years in the home, but not because her father was Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige, who routinely had famous athletes and celebrities stop by to visit.
Paige Shelby, who lives in Lee’s Summit now, didn’t know any of that was unusual.
“But if you were little, it was just your dad greeting some friends,” Paige Shelby said, laughing.
The former stately home of Satchel Paige was severely damaged by flames two weeks ago. A cause has yet to be determined, and the family isn’t sure if the home will have to be demolished.
Although the house is no longer owned by the Paige family, Paige Shelby is hopeful the structure can be saved as a monument to her father’s legacy.
“We all want it to be saved. That’s what we’re hoping for, that it can be, but we just have to wait and see,” Paige Shelby said.
Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, hopes the house can be saved for its historic significance.
“People need to know a Hall of Famer lived in that in neighborhood,” Kendrick told FOX4.
Paige Shelby recalls a loving home where she learned life’s most important lessons.
Even though Major League Baseball was slow to integrate, and legendary players like Satchel Paige weren’t allowed in until late in their careers, Paige Shelby said her famous father never spoke of the unfairness of it all.
They are memories and lessons Paige Shelby said she will never forget. And she remains hopeful that the her damaged childhood home will remain standing as a tribute to an exceptional American life.
“Maybe some people would raise their children to be bitter,” Paige Shelby said. “He chose not to, and I’m very thankful that he chose not to. Because he focused on the present and not the past and so we were able to navigate life without a lot of baggage.”