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In the News: Effa Manley
Effa Manley made the news in Scholastic News Edition 5/6 and Junior Scholastic on March 27, 2006
By Tiffany Chaparro

Effa Manley
Effa Manley
(Photo: National Baseball Hall of Fame)
Effa Manley made history this year as the first woman ever to be voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Manley, along with her husband Abe, co-owned the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues during the 1930s and 1940s.

During that time in America, African-Americans were not allowed to play sports on white teams, so they were forced to create the Negro Leagues in order to play. Not until 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, were blacks allowed to play on Major League Baseball teams.

As co-owner, Manley handled the Eagles' daily business operations, arranging play schedules, buying equipment, and negotiating contracts for the players. She pushed for her players to get better deals and higher salaries. She also was considered an expert and marketing and advertising.

Still, Manley found that segregation sometimes made it difficult to make arrangements for her team. Throughout her life, she worked hard as a civil rights activist. She was also influential in making sure that players like Jackie Robinson, who switched from Negro Leagues Baseball to Major League Baseball, received their paychecks.

"She was very much ahead of the other owners who were afraid to speak up," said Leslie Heaphy, a Negro Leagues Baseball historian and member of the Hall of Fame voting committee. "She really pushed to make sure they received those payments."

Baseball players were not the only people that Manley worked to help. In 1934, working with the Citizens' League for Fair Play, she organized a boycott in Harlem, New York, to protest stores that would not hire black sales clerks. Manley was truly committed to fighting for equal opportunities for all in the game of life.