Black History Month: Women Baseball Players of the Negro League
Three Women played with the men in the Negro League. They were:
TONI STONE, and accomplished athlete from Minneapolis, who was contracted to play second base in 1953 and took over for Hank Aaron when Aaron left the Indianapolis Clowns for the majors.
MAMIE “PEANUTS” JOHNSON, a right-hander pitcher from Washington D.C., was the second female signed. she was a pitcher for the Clowns.
CONNIE MORGAN, from Philadelphia, became the third woman to be signed to a Negro Leagues contracts when Toni Stone was traded in 1954 to the Kansas City Monarchs.
Her married name was Marceni Lyle Stone Alberga. Alberga, a man 40 years her senior, like her parents was not in favor of Stone playing professional baseball. “He would have stopped me if he could,” Stone later said. “But he couldn’t.”
Stone was quite proud of the fact that the male players were out to get her. She would show off the scars on her left wrist and remember the time she had been spiked by a runner trying to take out the woman standing on second base. ‘He was out,’ she recalled.
When Pollack, the owner of The Clowns asked her to play in a skirt, she refused! She also would not consent to play in shorts and made it clear that she would dress in the same uniforms as her male teammates did.
The highlight of Stone’s career came during her first season with the Clowns when she got a single off legendary pitcher Satchel Paige during an exhibition game in Omaha. Stone was almost as surprised as Paige. The clean single over second base was “the happiest moment of my life,” she said.
She was delighted in 1985 to be inducted into the Women’s Sports Foundation International Sports Hall fo Fame.
Toni Stone died of heart failure at age 75, in Alameda California. A baseball field in her hometown of St. Paul was dedicated in her memory in 1997.
We salute you Toni Stone!
next: Mamie “Peanuts” Johnson.
p.s. I am having fun learning about these female baseball players!
SIx days ’till Pitchers and Catchers report for the Dodgers!
ref: African American National Biography, MLB.com