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Baseball's Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise and Fall of the Negro Leagues



by
Andrea Williams

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Roaring Brook
ISBN
9781250623720
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Discrimination: Sexism , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Language: Mild Language , Violence: General , Crime: Hate Crimes
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For fans of Hidden Figures and Steve Sheinkin's Undefeated, this is the powerful true story of Effa Manley, the first and only woman in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947, Negro Leagues Baseball was the only game in town for black athletes. And those leagues owed their existence and success to savvy businesspeople like Effa Manley, the black female co-owner of the Newark Eagles. Effa was the team's business manager, leading her team to win the Negro World Series in 1946. But this victory was bittersweet: Integration was on its way, and the demise of the Negro Leagues would soon follow.

In this riveting nonfiction account, author Andrea Williams weaves the parallel stories of the segregated leagues with the tale of an inspiring woman who was at the center of it all.Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photographs.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Discrimination: Sexism , Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur , Language: Mild Language , Violence: General , Crime: Hate Crimes

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

256

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2021

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography

Topics

Effa Manley (1897–1981). Newark Eagles (baseball team). Negro leagues. History of baseball. Baseball team owners. Biography. Women baseball team owners. African American women.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 6-9–An important hole in baseball literature is addressed in this nonfiction recollection of businesswoman Effa ­Manley’s role in the rise and fall of the Negro Leagues. Effa’s role as a light-skinned woman who grew up in a biracial family and fought for rights for Black people and women is portrayed through detailed narratives and passionate quotes from her career as a ­co-owner of the Newark Eagles with her husband Abe ­Manley. The narrative ­explores the ­19th-century beginnings of the ­Negro Leagues, to the recruitment of Black ­players to the major leagues, to its ultimate downfall. The biography of Effa Manley’s life is intertwined with, and sometimes overwhelmed by, the history of the Negro Leagues as a whole. Endnotes and sources are very detailed and the narration reads like a textbook with a small amount of archival photos and pull quotes. The conclusion features a story about Effa purchasing a mink cape with her final paycheck, which is dramatic and endearing—however it leaves a big gap for readers. The remainder of Effa’s life is not addressed, nor is her inclusion into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. VERDICT A detailed history of Negro League baseball focusing on Effa Manley’s life and a supplemental addition to middle school sports ­collections.–­Emily Bayci-Mroczek, ­Naperville P.L.-Naper ­Boulevard Lib., IL

Horn Book

September 1946. Effa Manley is in the stands of New York City’s Polo Grounds to watch a Negro World Series game between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Newark Eagles. She is the owner of the Eagles, a league executive, and a highly successful Black woman of the 1930s and 1940s, and this game is a celebration of “Black baseball, of Black community, of new Black money that had come streaming into the community via the war and accompanying hiring sprees.” Manley is passionate about the game and envisions the Negro Leagues in partnership with Major League Baseball as farm teams that would “keep Black baseball in operation, and…also support integration by providing a steady stream of Black talent for the Majors.” It is not the direction that baseball went, but Williams’s story of Effa Manley and baseball is a dramatic narrative tapestry of America in Manley’s time: the Harlem Renaissance; Booker T. Washington; Marcus Garvey; Babe Ruth and the Yankees; Negro Leagues greats Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Moses Fleetwood Walker, and Josh Gibson; the Great Depression; and on into the era of integrated baseball with the signing of Jackie Robinson in 1945. A large font, spacious page design, and well-selected black-and-white photographs—along with the fascinating history—make for an inviting read and a good match with Nelson’s We Are the Ship (rev. 5/08). Back matter includes an author’s note, extensive source notes, a thorough bibliography, and an index. DEAN SCHNEIDER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 6-9–An important hole in baseball literature is addressed in this nonfiction recollection of businesswoman Effa ­Manley’s role in the rise and fall of the Negro Leagues. Effa’s role as a light-skinned woman who grew up in a biracial family and fought for rights for Black people and women is portrayed through detailed narratives and passionate quotes from her career as a ­co-owner of the Newark Eagles with her husband Abe ­Manley. The narrative ­explores the ­19th-century beginnings of the ­Negro Leagues, to the recruitment of Black ­players to the major leagues, to its ultimate downfall. The biography of Effa Manley’s life is intertwined with, and sometimes overwhelmed by, the history of the Negro Leagues as a whole. Endnotes and sources are very detailed and the narration reads like a textbook with a small amount of archival photos and pull quotes. The conclusion features a story about Effa purchasing a mink cape with her final paycheck, which is dramatic and endearing—however it leaves a big gap for readers. The remainder of Effa’s life is not addressed, nor is her inclusion into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. VERDICT A detailed history of Negro League baseball focusing on Effa Manley’s life and a supplemental addition to middle school sports ­collections.–­Emily Bayci-Mroczek, ­Naperville P.L.-Naper ­Boulevard Lib., IL

Horn Book

September 1946. Effa Manley is in the stands of New York City’s Polo Grounds to watch a Negro World Series game between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Newark Eagles. She is the owner of the Eagles, a league executive, and a highly successful Black woman of the 1930s and 1940s, and this game is a celebration of “Black baseball, of Black community, of new Black money that had come streaming into the community via the war and accompanying hiring sprees.” Manley is passionate about the game and envisions the Negro Leagues in partnership with Major League Baseball as farm teams that would “keep Black baseball in operation, and…also support integration by providing a steady stream of Black talent for the Majors.” It is not the direction that baseball went, but Williams’s story of Effa Manley and baseball is a dramatic narrative tapestry of America in Manley’s time: the Harlem Renaissance; Booker T. Washington; Marcus Garvey; Babe Ruth and the Yankees; Negro Leagues greats Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Moses Fleetwood Walker, and Josh Gibson; the Great Depression; and on into the era of integrated baseball with the signing of Jackie Robinson in 1945. A large font, spacious page design, and well-selected black-and-white photographs—along with the fascinating history—make for an inviting read and a good match with Nelson’s We Are the Ship (rev. 5/08). Back matter includes an author’s note, extensive source notes, a thorough bibliography, and an index. DEAN SCHNEIDER

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