Jolyon Pitt Girard Speaker: Martha Ackmann

By Kevin Durso
October 10, 2012

Major League Baseball’s Postseason is in full swing so baseball is in the heart of championship runs. With that being said, Cabrini is welcoming a little bit of baseball fever to campus.

Many people, both baseball fans and otherwise, know the story of Jackie Robinson and how he became the first African-American player to play in the major leagues, breaking the color barrier which helped allow for stars in this year’s Postseason, like C.C. Sabathia, Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Adam Jones and Brandon Phillips, to make even the dream of playing in the big leagues possible.

Martha Ackmann, professor of gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, is this year’s Jolyon Pitt Girard Scholar-in-Residence. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, she will be presented a different story about breaking barriers when she presents her book “Curveball.”

The book and keynote lecture are about Toni Stone, who broke barriers by being a Negro-League ballplayer and the first woman to play professional baseball. Stone played for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953, replacing legendary Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron at second base.

Stone also played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1954. She finished her career with 50 games played and a .243 batting average. One of her hits even came on Hall-of-Fame pitcher Satchel Paige.

Stone died in 1996 at the age of 75. But her legacy has lived on since. Two exhibits in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown feature her name, one on women in baseball and the other on the Negro Leagues.

For those interested, Professor Ackmann’s lecture will be held in the Widener Lecture Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Following the lecture, Ackmann will be signing copies of her book, “Curveball.”

Kevin Durso

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