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Former Kansas City Home Of Baseball Legend Satchel Paige Damaged By Fire

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3
Fire early Tuesday gutted the former house of pitching great Satchel Paige on East 28th Street in Kansas City.

A home once owned by Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel Paige in Kansas City’s Santa Fe Place Historic District was severely damaged by fire early Tuesday morning. 

The former Paige residence at 2626 E 28th St. was built in 1910. Paige lived in the home for almost 20 years, while he gained notoriety pitching for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues and later Major League Baseball's Kansas City Athletics.

The building was listed on Historic Kansas City’s “watch list” of potentially endangered historic properties in 2011, 2013 and, most recently, 2014.

On Tuesday morning, a few neighbors walked by to look at the damage. One was Bernard Williams, who served on the Santa Fe neighborhood board and lives a block away on Victor Street in a neighborhood where some houses appear to be in perfect condition and others have been boarded up by the city.

"There's so much history here. I love living over here," Williams said.

Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3
KCUR 89.3
Officials from Kansas City's Dangerous Buildings office were at the scene of the fire Tuesday that destroyed the former residence of Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige.

He remembered Paige sitting on the front porch of the 5,400-square-foot home when Williams was throwing papers for the Kansas City Star and the morning Kansas City Times.

"He would always tell me he'd like his paper right there on the front porch so all he'd have to do is reach down and grab it," Williams said.

The Santa Fe district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. KSHB reports the fire began at about 3 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities are investigating, but have not yet determined, the cause of the fire. The house was not inhabited.

Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. 

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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