Toni “Tomboy” Stone: First Woman to Play on Negro Leagues Team

2 Posted by - October 19, 2022 - Black First, BLACK WOMEN, SPORTS

Toni “Tomboy” Stone was born Marcenia Lyle Stone on July 17, 1921, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Although her parents believed in a strong education, she wanted to develop her athletic talent. Stone began playing sports at the young age of ten, despite being deterred by many people. She became the first woman to play in the men’s negro league, and made history in 1953 when she was signed by the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues.

One day, Stone’s parents invited a local priest to their home to try to talk their daughter out of pursuing a sports career. However, the meeting didn’t know go as quite planned; by the end of the discussion, the priest asked Stone to play on his team in the Catholic Midget League. By the age of 15, Stone was playing with the Twin City Colored Giants, a traveling men’s baseball club, and took to the diamond for clubs competing in the men’s meatpacking league.

In the 1940s, Stone’s sister fell ill, so she moved to San Francisco to help care for her. It was in California where Stone’s life began to change. She began a personal reinvention. It wasn’t long before she was playing baseball again, signing with an American Legion Club. In 1949, she joined the San Francisco Sea Lions of the West Coast Negro Baseball League. Through this sports endeavors, she was able to earn around 200 dollars a month.

Stone married Aurelious Alberga in 1950, a well-known San Francisco politician who was 40 years her senior. She spent her retirement years in Oakland, and died of heart and respiratory problems at the age of 75.



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