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Extremely Rare Effa Manley Photograph
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $593
Original large-format photo (14 x 10.5 inches), circa 1930/1940s, picturing Effa Manley, the first and only woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Manley is pictured in the stands at a ballpark seated behind two unidentified gentleman. Any original photos of Effa Manley are exceedingly rare. This is the first we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen any others at public auction. The rarity of Effa Manley photos is not surprising, however, given the scarcity of Negro League photos in general and the fact that she was an owner/executive. The subject of this photo is actually the gentleman seated in front of Manley, and it is probably just by chance that she appears in the image. No other information accompanies the photo except for a handwritten notation on the reverse that reads "Uncle John" (presumably identifying the gentleman in the center). Effa 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 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. 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. Manley passed away in 1981, 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." In 2006 she became the first woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The photo displays numerous flaws, including four clipped corners, numerous creases, and a a number of edge tears (none of which affect Manley's image). In Fair to Good condition overall. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $593
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