In Her Own League

Writing about women who have made a difference in this country’s history has always been important to Martha Ackmann, MA English ’79, a senior lecturer in gender studies at Mt. Holyoke College. In Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, she brings to light the amazing story of the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro League. Not only does Toni Stone face sexist challenges as she plays with men but she faces the racism of Jim Crow America in the 1950s. Ackmann made the choice to write about sports because she feels it is a window on society, and through the fascinating tale of a woman who faced incredible odds to follow her dream, she shows us a piece of American history that may not be widely known. Ackmann says, “It fleshes out our American story. It shows that there are heroes in many places, some in places we least expect.”

Middlebury Magazine recently spoke with Martha Ackmann about her book in a companion piece to the book review in the spring 2011 issue.

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