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Effa Manley 1st woman in Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Effa Manley, who owned and managed the Negro Leagues Newark Eagles with her husband, has become the first woman admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Manley was among a group of 17 owners, coaches and players from the Negro Leagues and from the pre-Negro Leagues era of black baseball who were selected Monday.

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An unusual woman for her era, Manley took an active part in running the team, possibly more active than her husband.

"While Abe had the money, she was really the one running the show," Leslie Heaphy, a baseball historian and member of the voting committee, told the New York Times.

She was known for taking care of her players, including buying the first air-conditioned team bus in the Negro Leagues and starting a winter team in Puerto Rico to provide year-round employment.

Manley also took an active part in civil rights, including holding Anti-Lynching days at the ball park. She was still trying to take care of her players years after the team was gone, writing letters to the Hall of Fame advocating for the admission of Negro League players.

When she died in 1981, the epitaph on her gravestone was, "She loved baseball."

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