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Everyone should know about ‘Toni’ Stone, the first woman to play pro baseball

If you ask the average baseball fan about great Negro League players, they’ll probably bring up people like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige or James “Cool Papa” Bell. Obviously, there are plenty of Negro League players that should be on the tip of any sport’s fan’s tongue, but the discrimination at the time meant that a lot of great names were never elevated to the status they deserved.

Google is paying tribute to a Negro League player from the ‘40s and ‘50s who should be known by Americans everywhere whether they like baseball or not. Marcenia “Toni” Stone, the first woman in history to play as a regular in a men’s major baseball league, is the subject of a new Doodle that’s gracing the front page of the search engine.

Stone should be known for her play on the field as well as the incredible tenacity that allowed her to break the gender barrier at a time when the thought of women in sports ruffled a lot of feathers.

“I am a woman, a Black woman, and I want and will play men's baseball. I'm not even getting paid the same amount of money these guys are making. But I do it because I love the game, and I do it to show other women that they can do it too. Remember, a woman has her dream too,” she used to say.

The Doodle was created by California-based artist Monique Wray.


via Google

Stone loved baseball as a child but she was only allowed to play on the girls’ softball team and their level of play just wasn't good enough for her. So she hung around the high school baseball team and badgered the coach until he gave her a shot.

"I just couldn’t get rid of her until I gave her a chance,’’ the coach recalled. ‘‘Every time I chased her away, she would go around the corner and come back to plague me again.’’

At just 15 years of age, she broke the gender barrier by joining the all-male semi-pro Twin Cities Colored Giants in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After moving to the west coast to live with her sister, she did it again in the spring of 1949 by talking her way onto the roster of the San Francisco Sea Lions. After learning that she was paid less than her male teammates, she joined the New Orleans Creoles, where she played for three seasons.

In 1953, Stone joined the Indianapolis Clowns where she played second base. She took over for Henry “Hank" Aaron, who had just signed with the Milwaukee Braves. In 1954, she played for the legendary Kansas City Monarchs but quit after the season due to a lack of playing time.

Life in the Negro Leagues was difficult for the male players, and for a woman, it was even harder. She endured barbs being thrown at her from the audience as well as her fellow players, who couldn't stand having a woman on the team.

Stone was taunted at times by teammates, once being told, “Go home and fix your husband some biscuits,” but she was undeterred.

Stone claims that during her playing days she got a hit off of the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, but the anecdote has been disputed.

“He was so good that he'd ask batters where they wanted it, just so they'd have a chance. He'd ask, ‘You want it high? You want it low? You want it right in the middle? Just say.’ People still couldn't get a hit against him,” she said, according to Baseball Reference.

“So I get up there and he says, ‘Hey T., how do you like it?’ And I said, ‘It doesn't matter, just don't hurt me.’ When he wound up—he had these big old feet—all you could see was his shoe. I stood there shaking, but I got a hit. Right out over second base. Happiest moment in my life,” she continued.

After Stone retired from baseball she moved to Oakland, California to be with her husband.

Stone was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame on February 9, 2020

Stone passed away in 1996 at the age of 75.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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"I'm supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I've had goosebumps in the past two days."

Fred Rogers managed to secure $20 million in PBS funding from Congress.

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers sat before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to make the case for funding children's educational programming. His show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, had recently become nationally syndicated, and the program relied on the $20 million in government funding allotted to public broadcasting. That funding was on the chopping block, with President Nixon wanting to cut it in half, so Rogers went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the funding before Congress.

In a video clip of Rogers' testimony, we can see how subcommittee chairman Senator John O. Pastore sat across from Rogers, appearing somewhat disinterested. He had never heard of or seen Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and wasn't familiar with Rogers himself.

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There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

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