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1975 Effa Manley ALS to John Holway
Starting Bid - $200.00 , Sold For - $1,880.00
One-page handwritten letter signed by Effa Manley, the first woman ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The letter, dated February 21, 1975, is written to John Holway, one of the most noted of all Negro League baseball historians, and concerns her excitement in learning the title of Holway’s newest book. She writes in full: Dear John Holway. I just had to drop you this note to tell you I just learned the title of your book, and it has given me one of the happiest, biggest, thrills of my life, ‘Voices From the Great Black Baseball Leagues.’ I will be wanting to see it as much as you. I would love to know which of the ballplayers’ stories you used. Please let me know as soon as it is published. Sincerely, Effa Manley. Both Manley’s signature and text have been scripted in blue ink and grade “10.” 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 (she lost top stars such as Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, and Monte Irvin). Unfortunately, it was a battle she could not win and in 1948 she was finally forced to disband the club. Effa Manley letters are rare, and this one has a special significance, as it concerns her longstanding great interest in preserving the history of the Negro Leagues, and is written to one of the most important Negro League historians. The letter (6 x 8 inches) displays a horizontal fold line and is in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $1,880.00
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