Inspiration can be found in the past, but unfortunately some of the most inspirational stories aren’t passed down over time. Toni Stone, a female professional baseball player in the Negro Leagues is one of these stories. She should be an inspiration to women that they can do anything but unfortunately her story has been buried.
I thought I knew sports, but I never knew that Toni Stone, a woman, played professionally in the Negro Leagues. Some stories are so amazing that they must be hidden from the masses to keep them down, so people won’t realize that they can do anything that they put their mind to.
It was surprising to learn that the Harlem Globetrotters beat the then NBA champion, Minneapolis Lakers with George Mikan, but I was even more surprised to learn that Toni Stone was actually the first of 3 women to play in the Negro Leagues.
That’s right, there were 3 women who played professional sports against men. Title IX was just celebrated as ground breaking for women’s sports, but Toni Stone’s legacy still lives in obscurity despite being the greatest female athlete story ever.
Stone began her professional career in 1949 , so not only did she have to deal with the racist times, but she also got it from her teammates who didn’t want to play with a woman. But she persevered, and excelled at the game, even being judged by men’s standards.
She got a hit off of the great Satchel Paige and replaced Hank Aaron as the second basemen with the Indianapolis Clowns. It is unfortunate that her story hasn’t been recognized more. It makes me wonder how many similar, inspirational, and against all odds stories have been hidden from us.