The Hall of Fame in Cooperstown became significantly more diverse today.
The first woman selected for the baseball Hall of Fame is Effa Manley, an African-American. Effa Manley was owner of the Brooklyn/Newark Bears of the Negro Leagues into the 1950’s, a woman who loved baseball and was not afraid to challenge the established white major league owners who wanted to raid her team.
In one swift move, the Hall of Fame broke down all kinds of barriers, just like Effa did.
Once again, a member of the local baseball community had a hand in this. Jim Overmyer of Pittsfield, Massachussets published a major study of Manley and her team, Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles. Jim toils for a New York State agency in Albany, and was a member of the local Society of American Baseball Research chapter – the same chapter that championed George Davis of Cohoes, New York for the Hall in 1998.
Nice goin’, Jim!