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Lot # 741 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Effa Manley Signed Book - Negro Baseball...Before Integration

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $3,525.00

Rare first edition of Negro Baseball. . . Before Integration , by Effa Manley and Leon Herbert Hardwick (Adams Press, Chicago, 1976), signed and personally inscribed on the interior by Effa Manley, the first woman ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Manley’s inscription appears on the page featuring a memoriam to her late husband, Abe Manley, and reads “To Bruce B. Foster – Happy Reading – Effa Manley.” Both the inscription and signature have been boldly scripted in blue ink and grade “10.” Many hobby veterans will recognize the name of Bruce Foster, as he was a very well-known somewhat reclusive longtime Philadelphia-area collector who passed away in 1989. His collection included the famous Harry Wright scorebooks, among many other treasures. Foster specialized in baseball books, and over a period of forty years assembled one of the greatest baseball publication collections ever. The book has a coupon printed on the last page offering copies by mail for $5.50 each, a considerable sum for a soft-cover book in 1976. Bruce Foster purchased virtually every baseball publication possible in the year of its issue and no doubt ordered this book directly from Effa Manley. The book has been consigned directly from one of the several collectors who pooled their resources to purchase Bruce Foster's collection in 1990. The book, which features biographies of former Negro League stars and records in detail Manley’s reminiscences of her days as a Negro League team executive, is a rarity in its own right. It was written as a labor of love, to provide a lasting record of important information about the history of the Negro Leagues which only Effa Manley could tell, and which otherwise might have been lost forever. This book was published in a very limited production run by a very small publisher, resulting in its scarcity today. If anyone were qualified to write a book about the Negro Leagues, especially recounting its final years and days, 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. Manley passed away in 1981 (just a five years after the publication of this book), 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 book (5.5 x 8.5 inches) displays a small nick on the back cover; it is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,525.00

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