A League Of Their Own director Penny Marshall is swinging away at a baseball biopic about Effa Manley, the sports trailblazer who became the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Manley made history by rising in the ranks of the Negro National League in the 1930s and ’40s as a co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles, the team that went on to win the 1946 Negro World Series.

Effa will mark Marshall’s first feature as a director since 2001’s Riding In Cars With Boys. “The story is a fascinating tale of a woman who broke through so many barriers and accomplished so much for the players and the game, during a time when the face of baseball changed forever,” she said.

Reported from Deadline


1897 – 1981

Effa Manley was co-owner of the Newark Eagles baseball franchise in the Negro leagues and the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. She owned the ball club with her husband Abe from 1935 to 1946 and was sole owner through 1948 after his death. 

According to the book The Most Famous Woman in Baseball by Bob Luke, Effie was born through an extramarital union between her African American seamstress mother, Bertha Ford Brooks, and Bertha’s white employer, Philadelphia stockbroker John Marcus Bishop; therefore she may actually have been of mixed heritage.

She was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in February 2006.

For more information check out her biography at the Negro League Baseball Players Association website.