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Arts & Life

Satchel Paige's Home Slated For $3 Million Rehab: 'A Great Day For Our Family And Our Neighborhood'

080921_cm_SatchelHouse
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
Pam O'Neil, one of Satchel Paige's daughters, talks Monday morning about the collaboration with Pitch Perfect KC toward the rehabilitation and repurposing of the house in the Santa Fe neighborhood that once belonged to the Hall of Fame and Negro Leagues pitcher.

The company Pitch Perfect KC won the bid to rehab the Hall of Fame pitcher's long-vacant home in Kansas City's Santa Fe Neighborhood.

Satchel Paige’s former home in the Santa Fe neighborhood will finally be rehabbed after decades of sitting vacant.

Paige, a legendary Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball pitcher, bought the house in 1950 and lived there until his death in 1982, entertaining countless national and local celebrities in that time.

However, the home fell into disrepair after the family moved out, and a fire damaged the structure in 2018. It was repaired with grant money after being purchased by the Kansas City Homesteading Authority.

In May, Kansas City issued a request for proposal for organizations to restore and redevelop the home as a community asset.

The winning proposal came from Pitch Perfect KC — a company comprised of members of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Association, the Kansas City Royals, Paige family and others — which announced its redevelopment plan Monday morning.

“I am over the moon because I’m working with a group that we have gelled with,” said Pam O’Neil, Satchel Paige’s daughter, standing next to his Hall of Fame plaque. “This is a great day for our family and our neighborhood and for my life.”

Vincent Paul Gauthier, managing developer for Pitch Perfect KC, likened the project to making gumbo.

“It’s a mixture of all these great things and it’s what you have in that moment in time,” Gauthier said. “In the end, this is all about the neighborhood and the Paige family.”

080921_cm_SatchelHouse
Carlos Moreno
Vincent Paul Gauthier, managing developer for Pitch Perfect KC, talks Monday morning about the legacy of Satchel Paige's home and the collaboration moving forward for rehabilitating and repurposing the structure.

Gauthier estimates the project will cost between $2-3 million, and they could cut a ribbon as early as three years from now.

Gauthier said they are committed to being respectful of the Paige family and restoring the house with Paige’s legacy in mind. But Pitch Perfect KC has not committed to any concrete plans for its future use.

The company is considering retail spaces and possibly offices for the Santa Fe Neighborhood Association. But Gauthier said Pitch Perfect KC will continue reaching out for input from interested parties.

Missouri state Sen. Barbara Anne Washington, who represents the neighborhood as part of her district, surprised Gauthier and many in the crowd by announcing $500,000 in state funding secured for the project.

“This is a house that we probably walked by a million times to go to McDonald’s that used to be on the corner,” she said. “We hope that it will continue to not only bring this back to life, but to make this a viable museum and bring people to Kansas City that understand not only the importance of Leroy Satchel Paige but the importance of the Negro Leagues and how we here in Kansas City are the founders of that.”

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