Deb: Big-league baseball’s first woman, Toni Stone, with a play of her own off Broadway

From Sopan Deb at the New York Times on June 11, 2019:

Even if you’ve never watched a single baseball game in your life, you’ve likely heard of Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige. And you’ve probably watched the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” which tells how the world’s first all-female baseball league came to be.

No sport is more often used to tell the story of America than baseball. Yet Marcenia Lyle Stone, known as Toni, who became the first woman ever to play big-league professional baseball when she took the field as a second baseman for the Negro Leagues’ Indianapolis Clowns in 1953, has largely been relegated to a footnote in history: one in a long list of African-American women who endured hardships, overcame discrimination and helped shape the nation only to be shoved aside, their contributions minimized.

But with a new Off Broadway play, “Toni Stone,” now in previews, the playwright Lydia R. Diamond aims to correct the injustice that Stone isn’t as culturally ubiquitous as Robinson, Paige or Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League.

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Originally published: June 11, 2019. Last Updated: June 11, 2019.