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Lot # 954 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1980 Effa Manley Single-Signed Baseball

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $10,440.00

Official 1980 Wilson Negro League Players Reunion ball signed in blue ink by Effa Manley, the first woman ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Manley's signature appears on a side panel and grades "7/8." Although she was a prominent Negro League executive, serving as business manager and then owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley single-signed baseballs are exceedingly rare, with this example representing the first and only we have ever seen or heard of. This ball was signed at a special Negro League players reunion in 1980. It is particularly ideal that the ball is a specially produced "1980 Negro League Players Reunion" ball made by Wilson for this event, which may in fact have been the only event during her lifetime which recognized in an historical context her great contributions to the Negro Leagues and the game of baseball. Manley entered the world of baseball in 1936 by virtue of her marriage to Abe Manley, owner of the Newark Eagles. Abe appointed Effa to run the team's business affairs and during the next ten years she became a strong advocate for both player's rights and civil rights. In addition to her baseball duties, Manley was also treasurer of the Newark chapter of the NAACP and often used the team to promote civic causes. In 1946, following the death of her husband, she assumed total control of the team. During the next two years she fought vigorously against the raiding of her players by Major League clubs. This, however, was a losing battle. After the loss of top stars such as Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, and Monte Irvin, she eventually disbanded the club in 1948. Manly passed away in 1981 (just one year after signing this ball), at which time she was believed to be the last surviving owner of a Negro League baseball team. On her tombstone is the simple epitaph "She Loved Baseball." The ball has some very light soiling and light toning. Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $10,440.00

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