Ruppert Stadium-Home of the Newark Eagles
Backstory and Context
In 1920 the NNL, National Negro League, had been established. There was finally a league where African American men could play baseball without the ridicule of other white Americans. The NNL was a league for the best baseball players and was created in hopes that one day the best team from the NNL could face the best team from the MLB.
Amongst the teams in the NNL there was one that has more of an unique story. The Newark Eagles played out of Newark, New Jersey at Ruppert Stadium. The co-owner and team manager of the Eagles however was a women. Effa Manley and her husband Abe, were owners of the team but Effa was really the one involved with the team.
Effa Manley was then known as the Queen of Baseball. With her team behind her Effa successfully managed her Newark Eagles. As she was involved with the Negro League she also fought for civil rights. She wanted her team as well as all the other teams in the Negro League to be treated with as much respect as the "white league teams."
Effa's place in Negro League Baseball would also be considered more challenging because of her gender. She was a women in charge of a team in a league perhaps looked down upon by many in America. Her hard work however paid off and in 2006 she was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This would make Effa Manley the only women in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Her place there was rightly deserved.
Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles will always be remembered as a part of the Negro League but also as a part of Baseball history. For the first time African Americans in America were able to play baseball without any rules brought on because the color of their skin. The Negro Leagues pushed open the way for the complete inclusion of African Americans in Major League Baseball.