William Page

James William Page, born about October, 1870 in Arkansas1 , was a businessman in Hot Springs, AR who helped scout Negro League pitcher Rube Foster around 1902.


Page was for numerous years a bellboy at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, AR. There, he undoubtedly came in contact with a great number of baseball players who came to the city for preseason workouts. According to black sports writer Dave Wyatt, Page was "one of the best judges of baseball players in the country."2 Among those he likely encountered were Solomon Chew and Rube Foster, both of whom had played with and against the local Hot Springs Arlingtons in 1901. Before the 1902 season, Wyatt intended to bring either Chew or Foster north with him to play with the Chicago Union Giants.3 Although Wyatt was leaning toward Chew, Page suggested that Foster would prove better, and Wyatt ultimately agreed. Wyatt later credited Page's advice for helping discover Foster.

Page ran a billiards hall in Hot Springs for many years.4


"Mr. Wm. Page, who was head bellman for years at the Arlington Hotel, is now occupying the same position at the Eastman. Mr. Page has seen all the big league stars and is one of the best judges of baseball players in the country. It was he who “tipped off” the great Foster to the writer. Page is running an up-to-date billiard and pool emporium for the followers of the ivories."5

"I wanted to get some of the boys up north, especially pitchers. I thought well of Sol Chew. Foster looked the class, be he had a bad fault: he always insisted on puddling and talking to the crowd while pitching and it affected his work. I was about to decide that Chew would be the beat experiment when Will Page, a well-known business man of Hot Springs, told me that Foster would prove the best with a little work on his rough spots."6