Sports & AdventureBiography & MemoirSociety & CultureWomen’s StudiesAfrican American StudiesEthnic & Minority Studies
Documenting multiple challenges at every turnas a target for racism from society at large and sexism both inside and outside of the Negro Leaguethis is the unique story of the first woman to play professional baseball on a men's team, breaking barriers in sports while believing, "There's got to be a first in everything. Maybe it will be me." Highlighting aggressive and resourceful behaviors, the text explains that as players began to leave the Negro League for major league teams, Toni Stone seized her only opportunity to play professional ball and replaced Henry Aaron on the Indianapolis Clowns, the Negro League's top team. Chronicling her career, this biography follows her experiences playing first with the Indianapolis Clowns, and later with the Kansas City Monarchs. It also details her encounters with the era's top athletesErnie Banks, Willie Mays, Buck O'Neil, and Satchel Paige to name a few. As the exploration reveals her remarkable talent, perseverance, and accomplishments, it shows how she posed as a double threatblack and femaleto the dominance of white males in sports and society.
Published: Chicago Review Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on Jun 1, 2010
Tho born as Marcenia Stone, by the time she was fourteen, this woman was known as Tomboy Stone. Why? She loved to run and play baseball. In the 1930s, this was unusual behavior for a girl. Her parents even frowned upon Tomboy's extracuricular activities. Tomboy was on the verge of running away from home when the local priest realized her potential and convinced her parents to allow her to play on the church baseball team. This was only the beginning... As a young woman later in life, Tomboy armed herself with a 25 cent baseball glove and a pair of shoes that were a gift from Evard "Gabby" Street and after traveling for a while with a barnstorming team, she hit San Francisco and reinvented herself. Toni Stone was born. Toni Stone went from barnstorming teams to semi pro teams to the pro Negro League. She played on the SF Sea Lions, the New Orleans Creoles, and the Indianapolis Clowns. She propped open the door for other women to enter, women like Mamie Johnson and Connie Morgan. Immersed with Toni's story is background information on what was going on in the Civil Rights movement at that time. It's important to remember that Toni Stone was not only in the fight for women's rights and equality, but also for African Amercian rights. During this time, lynching still occurred and hate ran rampant, especially in the "Jim Crow" south as they refer to it. And Toni's teams had to play ball in some of these places. Toni Stone had to straighten her shoulders, put her chin up, and while hitting, catching, and at one point even being knocked out by a ball, she had to face hateful white crowds and listen to insults hurled her way. Discrimination did not stop with racist or chauvinistic crowds tho. Toni also faced harassment from her own teammates and at one point, even had to take a baseball bat to fellow team member's head to stop his sexual remarks. This gal did not turn tail and head home to make her husband biscuits that's for sure.Other African American baseball pioneers are honored in this book, including Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige. This is a very good read and more entertaining than most biographies. There was too much detail about other people tho, and not just people involved in baseball. Example: Louis Armstrong and the Zulu parade. I couldn't care less. Also, the book focuses on other baseball players quite often. Whereas I wasn't interested in some of these players, I think baseball fanatics will be overjoyed with the details. There were simply some parts that are more for "lovers of the game." This reader has no real interest in baseball, just strong women in history.Toni Stone was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. She passed away in 1996.read more
Marcenia Lyle Stone, nicknamed Tomboy Stone, and later Toni Stone, never set out to break any racial or gender barriers. She just wanted to play baseball. There weren't many opportunities for a young African American girl in the 1930s, much less in the field of sports. So how did she manage to convince a coach who belonged to the KKK to help her? Perseverance, something that helped her thought her entire life.Her story is fascinating, as is the history of African American baseball players during the time of Negro leagues and Jim Crow laws. And it is shameful, a time in history were everyone is equal. Well, everyone who looks and behaves like the typical white male.Toni had some great supporters as well as the blatant racism and sexism she encountered, but she always had to work hard for everything she gained. She had an unconventional marriage with someone who loved and encouraged her.I wanted to read about this amazing woman but have to confess that I am not a huge baseball fan, so there were too many baseball details for me and not quite enough about Toni herself. The book was well researched and annotated. I think it is a 4-star read for those more interested in the sport than I am, but for me, it's a 3 ½.read more