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Lot # 958 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1977 Effa Manley Signed Letter with Hall of Fame Content

Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $3,770.00

Extraordinary letter signed by Effa Manley, the first woman ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, with content relating to the Hall of Fame selection process for Negro Leaguers. The typed letter, dated June 17, 1977, is written to John Holway, one of the most noted of all Negro League baseball historians, and concerns her extreme dissatisfaction with the both the selections and makeup of the Hall of Fame Negro League committee. She writes in part: "There is no question, we were both having the same thoughts, with a desire to do the same thing, but our approach is not at all the same. I am completely disgusted with the actions of the old committee. Notice in my news story, I named you as one of the people I felt should be a member of a new committee that would do a worthwhile job in naming old time great Negro Players. How that former bunch could have ignored Mackey, Wells, Lundy, Day, etc. etc. etc....Imagine picking nine men, two of them theirselves [sic]. Who in the world picked that committee. Do you know?" It is signed "Effa Manley" in blue ink ("9"). If anyone were qualified to comment on the makeup and selections of the Negro League committee it was Manley, a woman who spent much of her adult life as an important baseball executive with the Newark Eagles. Manley entered the world of baseball in 1936 by virtue of her marriage to Abe Manley, owner of the Newark Eagles. Effa ran the team's business affairs and during the next ten years she became a strong advocate for both players' 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, losing top stars such as Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, and Monte Irvin, which contributed to her finally disbanding the club in 1948. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays minor border wear, including a few small tears, and is otherwise in Excellent condition. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $3,770.00


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