Give it up for Effa Manley, the first female Baseball Hall-of-Famer. She co-owned a Negro League team with her husband, and ran the business end of the team for more than a decade.
Manley used baseball to advance civil rights causes with events such as an Anti-Lynching Day at the ballpark. She died in 1981 at age 84.
“She was a pioneer in so many ways, in terms of integrating the team with the community,” said Leslie Heaphy, a Kent State professor on the committee. “She’s also one of the owners who pushed very hard to get recognition for Major League Baseball when they started to sign some of their players.”