Effa Manley

Effa Louise Manley (March 27, 1897 – April 16, 1981) was an American sports executive. She co-owned the Newark Eagles baseball franchise in the Negro leagues with her husband Abe Manley from 1935 to 1946 and was sole owner through 1948 after his death on December 9, 1952. Throughout that time, she served as the team's business manager and fulfilled many of her husband's duties as treasurer of the Negro National League. She was the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Effa Manley
Effa Louise Manley
Born: March 27, 1897 Philadelphia
Died: April 16, 1981 (aged 84)
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Election MethodCommittee on African-American Baseball

Early life

Manley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she attended school.[1] In 1916, she graduated from Penn Central High School, completing vocational training there in cooking, oral expression and sewing.[2] She entered the hatmaking business.[1]

Manley's racial background is not completely known. It has been written[3] her biological parents may have been white, but she was raised by her black stepfather and white mother[4], leading most to assume her stepfather was her biological father and therefore to classify her as black. Daryl Russell Grigsby wrote, "...some insist she was a white woman exposed to black culture, who identified as black. Regardless of her ethnic origins, Effa Manley thought of herself as a black woman and was perceived by all who knew her as just that."[5]:p.55 Author Ted Schwarz wrote, "She was a white woman who passed as a black...She could stay in any hotel she desired."[6]

According to the book The Most Famous Woman in Baseball by Bob Luke, Effa was born through an extramarital union between her[4] seamstress mother, Bertha Ford Brooks, and Bertha's white employer, Philadelphia stockbroker John Marcus Bishop; and some sources identify Bertha as being black or mixed race, therefore Effa actually may have been of mixed heritage. According to historian Amy Essington, census and public records also list Effa as black.[4]

In an interview she gave, she seemed to enjoy the confusion her skin color created. She related a story of when her husband, Abe Manley took her to Tiffany's in New York for an engagement ring. She picked out a huge five-carat stone. She remarked at how every salesgirl in the store was on hand to get a glimpse of this "old Negro man buying this young white girl a five-carat ring" and how she got a kick out of it. In 1977, Manley was interviewed for an oral history project which is archived at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Newark Eagles

She married Abe Manley in 1935 after meeting him at a New York Yankees game, and he involved her extensively in the operation of his own club, the Newark Eagles in Newark, New Jersey.[7] She displayed particular skill in the area of marketing and often scheduled promotions that advanced the Civil Rights Movement. Her most noteworthy success was the Eagles' victory in the Negro League World Series in 1946. She worked to improve the condition of the players in the entire league. She advocated better scheduling, pay, and accommodations. Her players traveled in an air-conditioned Flxible Clipper bus, considered extravagant for the Negro Leagues.

She took over day-to-day business operations of the team, arranged playing schedules, planned the team's travel, managed and met the payroll, bought the equipment, negotiated contracts, and handled publicity and promotions. Thanks to her rallying efforts, more than 185 VIPs—including New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who threw out the first pitch, and Charles C. Lockwood, justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York—were on hand to watch the Eagles' inaugural game in 1935.

Among the Eagles players during her ownership were future major league stars such as Larry Doby, who in 1947 was the first player to integrate the American League, Monte Irvin, and Don Newcombe. Manley was critical of Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945. She felt Negro league teams were justified in requesting compensation for players who were signed to major league contracts. Manley was also critical of Negro league fans who supported Rickey because they felt he was integrating the major leagues due to civil rights causes rather than her summation of Rickey seeking business opportunity for his motivation.[5]:p.58 She also was critical of Robinson when he talked of the disorganization of the Negro leagues, asking him to not forget his beginnings and the contributions the Negro leagues had made to the game.[5]:p.57–58


Effa Manley at Baseball Hall of Fame
Tribute to Manley at the Baseball Hall of Fame (2014)

Her influence extended beyond baseball; she was active in the Civil Rights Movement and a social activist. Before the civil rights movement, Manley supported "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work" boycotts. As part of her work for the Citizens' League for Fair Play, Manley organized a 1934 boycott of stores that refused to hire black salesclerks. After six weeks, the owners of the store (Blumstein's Department Store) gave in, and by the end of 1935 some 300 stores on 125th Street employed black clerks. Manley was the treasurer of the Newark chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and often used Eagles games to promote civic causes. In 1939 she held an "Anti-Lynching Day" at Ruppert Stadium.

At this time most blacks were barred from practicing medicine. The Booker T. Washington Community Hospital, which offered training for black doctors and nurses, opened due in a large part to money raised from the Newark Eagles. They played numerous benefit games to raise money for new medical equipment. They also raised money for black Elks lodges, a major part of urban black social life. The Eagles worked especially hard for groups that promoted the welfare of Newark's black population. In an exhibit honoring the Negro leagues at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, there is a banner given to the team by the Newark Student Camp Fund in recognition of their efforts to help the community. Another example of the relationship Effa helped forge with the community was copying a practice of another team which allowed the city's youth to attend games for free. Some children could afford the ten-cent fare for the bus ride while others jump on the back of a moving bus to take advantage of the free ballgames. Because of Effa Manley, the Newark Eagles were as important to black Newark as the Dodgers were to Brooklyn.


By the spring of 1981, her health had deteriorated to the point that she could no longer live in her apartment. She moved into a rest home run by former Negro league player Quincy Trouppe. She told Trouppe that she would go to the hospital to get checked out, even though the ambulance drivers did not think she was ill enough to go to the hospital. She had cancer of the colon, which progressed into peritonitis after surgery. She had a heart attack and died on April 16, 1981, having never returned to the rest home. She died just four days after boxer Joe Louis, her sports idol, who had been one of the most influential black athletes of that time. She was buried in Culver City at the Holy Cross Cemetery.


Manley and Leon Hardwick wrote Negro Baseball ... Before Integration. In addition to covering the Negro League from 1935 to 1960, parts of the book are autobiographical.[8]


She was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in February 2006. She was the first woman named to the Hall of Fame.[9]

In 2010, her life was the subject of a children's book, She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story, written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Don Tate.


  1. ^ a b Crawford, Aimee. "The First Lady of Black Baseball". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  2. ^ Luke, Bob (2011). The Most Famous Woman in Baseball: Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues. Potomac Books. ISBN 1612341187.
  3. ^ "Effa Manley". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Ogden, David C. (2018). The Call to the Hall: When Baseball’s Highest Honor Came to 31 Legends of the Sport. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. ISBN 1476664080. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Grigsby, Daryl Russell (2012). Celebrating Ourselves: African-Americans and the Promise of Baseball. Indianapolis, Indiana: Dog Ear Publishing. ISBN 978-160844-798-5. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Schwarz, Ed (2010). Cleveland Curiosities: Eliot Ness & His Blundering Raid, a Busker's Promise, The Richest Heiress Who Ever Lived, and More. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. p. 105. ISBN 9781596299191. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  7. ^ Overmyer, James (1998). Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles. Scarecrow Press.
  8. ^ Simons, William M.; Hall, Alvin L. (2001). The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2000. McFarland. pp. 290–291. ISBN 9780786481705. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  9. ^ "Effa Manley". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 25, 2015.

External links

1897 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1897 throughout the world.

1981 Major League Baseball season

The 1981 Major League Baseball season had a players' strike, which lasted from June 12 to July 31, 1981, and split the season in two halves.

The All-Star Game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the strike. It was then brought back and played on August 9, as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day.

1981 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1981 throughout the world.

2006 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2006 proceeded in keeping with rules enacted in 2001, augmented by a special election; the result was the largest class of inductees (18) in the Hall's history, including the first woman elected. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players. The Veterans Committee did not hold an election; the 2001 rules changes provided that elections for players retired over 20 years would be held every other year, with elections of non-players (managers, umpires and executives) held every fourth year. The Committee voted in 2005 on players who were active no later than 1983; there was no 2005 election for non-players. Elections in both categories were held in 2007.

On July 26, 2005, the Hall announced that its board of directors had approved a special election to be held in 2006, by the Committee on African-American Baseball, of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown were held July 30 with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.

Abe Manley

Abraham L. "Abe" Manley (December 22, 1885 – December 9, 1952) was an American sports executive and husband of the first woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Effa Manley.

Abe Manley co-owned the Newark Eagles baseball franchise in the Negro Leagues with his wife from 1935 to 1946.

Manley bought the Brooklyn Eagles and Newark Dodgers and merged them into the Newark Eagles in 1936.

An active owner, Manley also served as vice president and treasurer of the Negro National League at one point.

He met his wife, Effa, at a New York Yankees game in 1935, and involved her in the operation of his club.

Manley was born in Hertford, North Carolina and died in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

He was among the 94 Negro League figures on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2006, but was not selected, although his wife became the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Biz Mackey

James Raleigh "Biz" Mackey (July 27, 1897 – September 22, 1965) was an American catcher and manager in Negro league baseball. He played for the Indianapolis ABC's (1920–22), New York Lincoln Giants (1920), Hilldale Daisies (1923–31), Philadelphia Royal Giants (1925), Philadelphia Stars (1933–35), Washington and Baltimore Elite Giants (1936–39), and Newark Dodgers/Eagles (1935, 1939–41, 1945–47, 1950).

Mackey came to be regarded as black baseball's premier catcher in the late 1920s and early 1930s. His superior defense and outstanding throwing arm were complemented by batting skill which placed him among the Negro leagues' all-time leaders in total bases, RBIs and slugging percentage, while hitting .322 for his career. Mackey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Don Newcombe

Donald Newcombe (June 14, 1926 – February 19, 2019), nicknamed "Newk", was an American professional baseball pitcher in Negro league and Major League Baseball who played for the Newark Eagles (1944–45), Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1949–1951 and 1954–58), Cincinnati Reds (1958–1960), and Cleveland Indians (1960).

Newcombe was the first pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young Awards during his career. This distinction would not be achieved again until 2011, when Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who was Rookie of the Year in 2006, won the Cy Young and MVP awards. In 1949, he became the first black pitcher to start a World Series game. In 1951, Newcombe was the first black pitcher to win twenty games in one season. In 1956, the inaugural year of the Cy Young Award, he became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP and the Cy Young in the same season.Newcombe was an excellent hitting pitcher who compiled a career batting average of .271 with 15 home runs and was used as a pinch hitter, a rarity for pitchers.

Don Tate

Don Tate (born December 21, 1963) is an American author and illustrator of books for children. He is also an activist promoting racial and cultural inclusiveness in children's literature. He notes that as a child he had to read the encyclopedia to discover a multicultural world; based on the children's books of his day he "thought the world was white". He co-founded the young African American blog The Brown Bookshelf and helps run the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign to improve diversity of material in children's books.


Effa may refer to:

Effa Manley, American sports executive, first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Andre Akono Effa, Cameroonian footballer

One of the mascots of the Newark Bears

A car brand name in South America, its products are from Chinese car manufacturers, such as Changhe and Hafei

Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City

Holy Cross Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery at 5835 West Slauson Avenue in Culver City, California, operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

It is partially in the Culver City city limits.Opened in 1939, Holy Cross comprises 200 acres (81 ha). It contains—amongst others—the graves and tombs of showbusiness professionals. Many celebrities are in the sections near "The Grotto" in the southwest part of the cemetery; after entering the main gate, turn left and follow the leftmost road up the hill.

Larry Doby

Lawrence Eugene Doby (December 13, 1923 – June 18, 2003) was an American professional baseball player in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) who was the second black player to break baseball's color barrier and the first black player in the American League. A native of Camden, South Carolina and three-sport all-state athlete while in high school in Paterson, New Jersey, Doby accepted a basketball scholarship from Long Island University. At 17 years of age, he began his professional baseball career with the Newark Eagles as the team's second baseman. Doby joined the United States Navy during World War II. His military service complete, Doby returned to baseball in 1946, and along with teammate Monte Irvin, helped the Eagles win the Negro League World Series.

In July 1947—three months after Jackie Robinson made history with the Brooklyn Dodgers—Doby broke the MLB color barrier in the American League when he signed a contract to play with Bill Veeck's Cleveland Indians. Doby was the first player to go directly to the majors from the Negro leagues. A seven-time All-Star center fielder, Doby and teammate Satchel Paige were the first African-American players to win a World Series championship when the Indians took the crown in 1948. He helped the Indians win a franchise-record 111 games and the AL pennant in 1954, finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award voting and was the AL's RBI leader and home run champion. He went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Chunichi Dragons before his retirement as a player in 1962.

Doby later served as the second black manager in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, and in 1995 was appointed to a position in the AL's executive office. He also served as a director with the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Hall's Veterans Committee and died in 2003 at the age of 79.

List of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York honors individuals who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport, and is the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, displaying baseball-related artifacts and exhibits. Elections of worthy individuals to be honored by induction into the Hall of Fame commenced in 1936, although the first induction ceremonies were not held until the hall opened in 1939. Through the elections for 2019, a total of 323 people have been inducted, including 230 former major league players, 32 executives, 35 Negro League players and executives, 22 managers, and 10 umpires. Each is listed showing his primary position; that is, the position or role in which the player made his greatest contribution to baseball according to the Hall of Fame.

According to the current rules, players must have at least 10 years of major league experience to be eligible for induction. In addition, they must be retired for at least five years if living, or deceased for at least six months. Players meeting these qualifications must pass through a screening committee, and are then voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Each writer may vote for up to 10 players; to be admitted into the Hall of Fame, a player must be approved by 75% of those casting ballots. Players receiving less than 5% approval are removed from future BBWAA ballots. The rules, as revised in July 2016, allow that all individuals eligible for induction but not for the BBWAA ballot—players who have not been approved by the BBWAA election process within 15 years of their retirement, umpires, managers, pioneers, and executives—may be considered by one of four voting bodies that have taken over the role of the former Veterans Committee, based on the era in which each individual candidate made his greatest contribution to the sport. On a few occasions, exceptions have been made to the guidelines in place at the time: Lou Gehrig was elected in 1939 following his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Roberto Clemente was elected shortly after his death in 1972; and Addie Joss was elected in 1978 even though he completed only nine seasons before his death.Between 1971 and 1977, nine players from the Negro Leagues were inducted by a special Negro Leagues Committee, which was given the task of identifying worthy players who played in the Negro Leagues prior to the breaking of baseball's color line. Since 1977, players from the Negro Leagues have been considered by the Veterans Committee, and nine more individuals have been approved by that body. In 2005, the Hall announced the formation of a Committee on African-American Baseball, which held a 2006 election for eligible figures from the Negro Leagues and earlier 19th-century teams; 17 additional Negro League figures were chosen in that election, including executive Effa Manley, the first woman inducted.

Manley (surname)

Manley as a surname may refer to:

Abe Manley (1885–1952), American Negro League Baseball owner

Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg (born Alexandra Christina Manley in 1964), former wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark

Alvin Manley (born 1971), American boxer and two-time National Golden Gloves Super Heavyweight Champion

Alyssa Manley, American field hockey player

Andrew Manley, American football quarterback

Audrey F. Manley (born 1934), American pediatrician, acting Surgeon General of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and President of Spelman College

Brian Manley (1929–2014), UK physicist and engineer

Charlotte Manley (born 1957), former Royal Navy officer, now Chapter Clerk of St George's Chapel, Windsor

David Manley (philosopher), American philosopher

David Manley (artist), British artist, educationalist and arts administrator

Delarivier Manley (1663 or c.1670–1724), English author, playwright and political pamphleteer

Dex Manley, American commercial and video game voice actor

Dexter Manley (born 1959), former American football player

Don Manley (born 1945), British crossword compiler

Dorothy Manley (born 1927), British sprinter and Olympic silver medalist in the 100 metres

Douglas Manley (died 2013), Jamaican politician

Edna Manley (1900–1987), Jamaican sculptor

Effa Manley (1897–1981), American Negro League Baseball owner and first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; wife of Abe Manley

Elizabeth Manley (born 1965), Canadian figure skater and Olympic and world silver medalist

George Manley (born 1965), American voice artist, novelist and screenplay writer

Ger Manley (born 1968), Irish former hurler

Gordon Manley (1902–1980), English climatologist

Graham Manley (born 1946), British comic artist

James Manley (born 1974), former American football player

James L. Manley, PhD, Professor of Life Sciences at Columbia University

Jessica Manley (born 1985), British actress

Jim Manley (born 1934), British artist

Joe Manley (born 1959), American boxer

Joey Manley, American web comic publisher

John Manley (disambiguation)

Joseph Homan Manley (1842–1905), American politician

Kerrie Manley (born 1982), English footballer

Leon Manley (1926–2010), American football player and coach

Malcolm Manley (born 1949), Scottish footballer

Marion Manley (1893–1984), American architect

Martin Manley (born 1952), former US Assistant Secretary of Labor, entrepreneur and founder of online bookseller Alibris

Martin Manley (1953–2013), American sports writer and statistician

Michael Manley (1924–1997), fourth Prime Minister of Jamaica

Mike Manley (disambiguation)

Natalie Manley, elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012

Norman Manley (1893–1969), Jamaican lawyer, politician and Chief Minister of Jamaica

Peter Manley (born 1962), former professional darts player

Peter Manley (politician) (1903–1998), Canadian politician

Phillipkeith Manley (born 1990), American football player

Rachel Manley, Jamaican writer

Ray Manley (1921–2006), American photographer

R.O.B. Manley (1888–1978), British beekeeper

Roddy Manley (born 1965), Scottish former football player

Simon Manley (born 1967), British diplomat

Stephen Manley (born 1965), American film and television actor

Stuart Manley (born 1979), Welsh professional golfer

Tadhg Manley (1893–1976), Irish politician

Tom Manley (disambiguation)

William Manley (1831–1901), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross and Surgeon-General

Monte Irvin

Monford Merrill "Monte" Irvin (February 25, 1919 – January 11, 2016) was an American left fielder and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) who played with the Newark Eagles (1938–42, 1946–48), New York Giants (1949–55) and Chicago Cubs (1956). He grew up in New Jersey and was a standout football player at Lincoln University. Irvin left Lincoln to spend several seasons in Negro league baseball. His career was interrupted by military service from 1943 to 1945.

When he joined the New York Giants, Irvin became one of the earliest African-American MLB players. He played in two World Series for the Giants. When future Hall of Famer Willie Mays joined the Giants in 1951, Irvin was asked to mentor him. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. After his playing career, Irvin was a baseball scout and held an administrative role with the MLB commissioner's office.

At the time of his death, Irvin was the oldest living former Negro Leagues player, New York Giant and Chicago Cub. He lived in a retirement community in Houston prior to his death.

Negro league baseball

The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed "Negro Major Leagues".

In 1885 the Cuban Giants formed the first black professional baseball team. The first league, the National Colored Base Ball League, was organized strictly as a minor league but failed in 1887 after only two weeks owing to low attendance. The Negro American League of 1951 is considered the last major league season and the last professional club, the Indianapolis Clowns, operated as a humorous sideshow rather than competitively from the mid-1960s to the 1980s.

Newark Bears

The Newark Bears were an American professional baseball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They were a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and, later, the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. The Bears played their home games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. The team folded after the 2013 season.

Newark Eagles

The Newark Eagles were a professional Negro league baseball team which played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. They were owned by Abe and Effa Manley.

Penny Marshall

Carole Penny Marshall (October 15, 1943 – December 17, 2018) was an American actress, director and producer. She came to notice in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983), receiving three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her portrayal.

Marshall made her directorial debut with Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) before directing Big (1988), which became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the U.S. box office. Her subsequent directing credits included Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, A League of Their Own (1992), Renaissance Man (1994), The Preacher's Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). She also produced Cinderella Man (2005) and Bewitched (2005), and directed episodes of the TV series According to Jim and United States of Tara.

See Posey

Seward Hayes "See" Posey is the older brother of Cum Posey. In baseball, See worked as a business manager, traveling secretary, and booking agent for the Homestead Grays. After Rufus Jackson’s death, See took over control of the club. He was associated with the Grays and served actively through much of the period 1920–1951. Additionally, for a time, See was also a booking agent for Gus Greenlee’s Pittsburgh Crawfords.

Veterans Committee
Committee on
African-American Baseball
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
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