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Negro Leagues

The Cuban Giants:  First African American Professional Baseball Club In The U.S.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Cuban Giants
Cuban Giants – The First African American Baseball Club In The U.S

 

Formed in 1885, the Cuban Giants were the first African American professional baseball club in the United States.  The team was formed at the Argyle Hotel in Babylon, New York by Frank P. Thompson, a waiter at the hotel.   It was comprised of African American players.  Sources differ on whether hotel staff comprised the team or whether it was a mix of players from the hotel and other cities.    The team was initially assembled to provide entertainment to hotel guests.  The Cuban Giants were highly successful defeating most of its opponents including white teams. Continue reading “The Cuban Giants:  First African American Professional Baseball Club In The U.S.”

Toni Stone: One of The First Female Players In The Negro Leagues!

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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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.

 

 

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