Audrey Vernick, intrigued me with her biographical narrative, She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. Effa Manley loved baseball. The history begins with a brief scene at school, highlighting racial prejudice. As an adult, Effa moves to New York City. She loves the excitement of Babe Ruth and the Yankees, yet is bothered by the discrimination she finds even in Harlem. Don Tate‘s illustrations are striking and illuminate the love that Effa Manley had for the game and its players.
Effa and her husband, Abe Manley, created a baseball team in the Negro national League, the Eagles. She coordinated schedules and ran the business. She cared for her team and went beyond what other owners did. In 1946, the Newark Eagles won the Negro League World Series.
As more African-American players were signed into the major leagues, the Negro League suffered and eventually ended. Effa loved the players and wrote numerous letters to the Hall of Fame fighting for the recognition of many players in the Negro Leagues. She did so until she died in 1980.
Her influence continued until 2006 when many more players were added. Effa was the also honored and inducted as the first woman.
“She was recognized for all she did for her players, for her civil rights work, and for getting the major leagues to treat Negro League teams with respect.”
View a video clip about the book found on the author’s website. Audrey Vernick has an awesome discussion guide for the book. It ties in to the civil rights movement and has some comparison/ contrast with Rosa Parks. You’ll need to check it out.
Savorings for reading and in writing for She Loved Baseball:
- Magic of 3 – notice the above quote as one example
- Repeating Line – “That’s just the way things are,” people said.
- Hyphenated words – high-stepping home-run swing
- Proper Nouns – people, places, teams, organizations; this book would allow students to have fun learning conventions with several examples throughout the book
- Possessive nouns – several unique nouns with possessive ‘s