If you've gone onto Google today to search for something, you may have noticed there is a doodle featuring a baseball player, who is wearing a blue jersey that says clowns across the front. While you may be thinking that Google is taking a shot at Major League Baseball and the ongoing labor strike between players and owners, it's actually a tribute to a Minnesota woman who played baseball professionally, her name is Toni Stone.

The Saint Paul Saints turned me on to the Google doodle this morning as they posted a little bit about Toni and her accomplishments playing professionally as a baseball player.

...Toni Stone, who grew up in St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood, barnstormed with the Twin City Colored Giants, & played for the Negro League's Indianapolis Clowns. She is also featured in our City of Baseball Museum.

Major League Baseball this morning put out a piece on Stone, and not being familiar with her career, which featured plenty of ups and downs being both female and an African American growing up before the civil rights movement you can imagine the roadblocks she hit were mighty, but she managed to navigate it all and make history in the process. MLB.com gave some insight into her life:

Born in Bluefield, W.V., in 1921 and raised in St. Paul, Stone was a talented multisport athlete who played with barnstorming baseball teams for several years before heading to the Negro American League. She spent two seasons there, joining the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953 (as a replacement for Hank Aaron) and the Kansas City Monarchs in ‘54. In 1993, she was inducted into both the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Three years later, she passed away at the age of 75. - MLB.com

How amazing is that? She was the replacement for Hank Aaron!

February is Black History Month, and Stone's story, is one that is not as well known among other notable African American figures of her time, and part of her amazing story revolved around her time growing up and playing baseball in Saint Paul.

You can learn more about Stone, and her life by heading here. 

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