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Omaha museum celebrates Black women in baseball exhibit

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Many baseball fans have heard of the Negro Baseball Leagues but didn’t know the role Black women played in the leagues on and off the field.

The Great Plains Black History Museum has a display of Black women in the Negro Baseball Leagues. Three African American women actually played in the Negro Leagues against men.

Mamie Peanut Johnson stood 5′3 inches tall and from 1953 through 1955, racked up a record of 33 and 8 for the Indianapolis Clowns.

“To be able to throw the ball, have the ability to strike out folks that have such a winning record, again you can look at men who have been pitchers in the major leagues or in the Negro Leagues as great as hers,” said Eric Ewing, Executive Director of Great Plains Black History Museum.

Toni Stone, the first woman to play for a professional baseball team also played for the Clowns. Connie Morgan played second base for the team as well.

Women have owned teams in the major leagues and there are women who have broken barriers in baseball.

Recently, Kim Ng was named General Manager for the Miami Marlins. She is believed to be the first woman general manager in Major League Baseball history.

The first shots at that barrier have been taken from 1935 through 1948. That’s when Effa Louise Manley co-owned the Newark Eagles Baseball team with her husband Abe.

After her death, Mrs. Manley was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

“For a woman and a woman of color, that’s even more of an accomplishment because you know during her time when she was the owner of the team, that was a time when rich women weren’t necessarily in positions of power in leading organizations.”

Ewing says the display illustrates that women and women of color played a role back then and continue to break barriers in baseball.

The Great Plains Black History Museum will put its full exhibit of the Negro Baseball Leagues on display June 3.

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