Posted: February 3, 2011 by Jay Rasean in baseball, negro, women.

Toni “Tomboy” Stone
July 1921 – November 1996

Today’s person of interest is Marcenia Stone but known affectionately asToniStone. Toni  the “tomboy”, was the first woman ever to play professional baseball within an all men’s league. Not only is Toni an influential African-American in history, but she is a important person who was instrumental in the advancement of women in society. Baseball fans; supporters of the advancement of women, as well as African-Americans will be delighted to re-discover, Toni Stone.
Baseball great, Toni Stone endured a somewhat tumultuous baseball career primarily playing with the San Francisco Sea LionsStone soon joined the Black Pelicans for a short period of time before signing with the New Orleans Creoles. In 1953, Stone made history when she was signed by Syd Pollack, owner of the Indianapolis Clowns-to play second base, making her the first woman to play on an all men’s team. At a time where the Negro League had floundering sales, and decreasing popularity, Pollack was looking to enhance interest in his baseball team. So Pollack signed Stone on the with Clowns-a team best known for their comical style of play. Contrary to their comical nature, the Clowns were quite the contenders, and Stone undoubtedly held her own. Stone did extraordinarily well while playing with the Clowns, even once getting a hit off of baseball great Satchel Paige!.
Despite her talents, many of her male teammates welcomed her with resentment. Because she was a woman, most of her teammates gave her a hard time; sometimes being extra physical with her, not allowing her to change in their male dominated locker room and she was once even asked her to wear a skirt to boost ticket sales-she refused. Women had an obviously difficult time when trying to achieve equality, especially African-American women. If Stone would have given up and folded under the pressures of being taunted, or mistreated, she wouldn’t have successfully paved the way for her successors. Refusing to wear a skirt, and keeping her held high throughout out the overwhelming misogyny, are prime examples of a strong, black woman.
Throughout her hardships, Stone prevailed. Finishing out her career with the Kansas City Monarchs, she retired and moved to Oakland, California with her husband, Aurelious Alberga-whom she would care for until his death in 1987. The negro league all-star herself passed away November 2, 1996 at 75.
Because of her breakthrough career, Toni Stone received several accolades recognizing her major achievements. In 1985 Stone was inducted into the Women’s Sports Foundation’s International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Just five years later, in 1990, she was included in the Baseball Hall of Fame in two different exhibits, “Women in Baseball” and the other concerning players in the “Negro League“. Stone was later inducted into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, and the Sudafed International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. To add to an extensive list of awards, her hometown of St Paul, Minnesota named March 6th “Toni Stone Day” and also named a field after her. Breaking milestones, for both woman and African-Americans, Toni “Tomboy” Stone is a shining example of the importance of women-as well as African-American in society-and a reason why black history should be a year ’round event.


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