Black History: Special Delivery!!
Tonie Stone, (July 17, 1921 – November 2, 1996), also known by her married name Marcenia Lyle Alberga, was the first of three women to play in the Negro baseball league. Toni Stone had a strong desire to play baseball even as a child. Her desire was so strong that she threatened to run away if she was unable play. Her parish priest arranged for her to become part of a church baseball team in St. Paul Minnesota in the 1930’s. It was not a girls team either! She wanted to play baseball with the boys and that’s exactly what she did! After graduating from high school, Stone, married Aurelious Alberga. Alberga was forty years her elder. Like many others in her circle, he did not want her to play baseball.
One of the teams she played for was the Twin City Colored Giants, a male African American team. She faced lots of ridicule and disrespect for playing in a male dominated sport. Eventually, she was hired by the Indianapolis Clowns to replace Hank Aaron when he began to play for the Major Leagues. Stone played into her early 60’s. However, her story has largely gone untold. After the 1954 season, Stone moved to Oakland, California. She began working as a nurse and also cared for her sick husband who died in 1987 at the age of 103. Stone died on November 2, 1996 at a nursing home in Alameda, CA. She was 75 years old.