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Barry Bonds gives hilarious response as Derek Jeter asks what would happen if he faced Satchel Paige

The legendary Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, was the site of a major league game on Thursday night, but given the stadium’s historical importance, the Negro Leagues were the first choice.

The Fox Sports panel of Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and host Kevin Burkhart discussed the significance of the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants facing off at Rickwood, especially considering the absence Tuesday night of MLB Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who was playing on the field for the Birmingham Black Barons.

But when it comes to great Negro League players, the one that always comes to mind is the great Satchel Paige, who began his professional career as a pitcher for the Black Barons before working his way up to the MLB later in his career.


Barry Bonds (number 24) of the Pittsburgh Pirates steps up to bat against the San Diego Padres. San Diego. (Richard Maxson/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Also on the panel were Barry Bonds, the league’s all-time home run leader, and Mays’ godfather, Ken Griffey Jr. Jeter decided to ask Bonds a question directly.

“Tell me right now, right there, what would you do with Satchel Paige?” Jeter asked Bonds.

The man who hit 762 home runs over a 22-season career didn’t hesitate. In fact, he found it facetious and insulting that Jeter even asked him that.

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“Me?! Not anymore,” he said quickly, and the other judges began laughing. “You’ve gone mad, Jeter. Not anymore. Simple as that. Not anymore. Read it on ESPN.”

“I have to believe in myself. If I don’t believe in myself, who is going to believe in me?”

Griffey said he would have taken a different route if he had faced Paige, whose fastball was rumored to reach 105 mph and who consistently hit triple-digit speeds before it became commonplace in today’s modern era.

Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson

Monarchs’ Satchel Paige (left) talks with Homestead Gray’s Josh Gibson before a 1941 game in Kansas City, Missouri. (Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics via Getty Images)

“I’ll drag bunt,” Griffey said with a smile, “and run to first base.”

Paige was just 20 years old when he posted a 2.39 ERA in 20 games (10 starts) for the Black Barons in 1927. It wasn’t until 1933 that the 26-year-old Paige posted a league-best 1.94 ERA in his first All-Star season with the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro National League II.

At age 42, Paige made his debut for the Cleveland Indians in 1948, which remains the oldest debutant in MLB history. He had a 2.48 ERA in 72.2 innings that season, then a 3.04 ERA in 31 games in 1949.

But Sweet Swing Bonds feels he wouldn’t have been fazed by the heat coming from Page.

Bonds’ career numbers have been tarnished by his admitted steroid use, but he was one of the best to ever step up to the plate, and his short bat could send the baseball flying anywhere in any park.

Barry Bonds and Satchel Paige side by side

Barry Bonds (left) sounded pretty confident when asked if he could hit one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Satchel Paige. (Getty Images)

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Of course, there’s no telling what that matchup would look like in the real world, but it’s safe to say that, like Bonds, Page is likely confident in his abilities.

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