In this edition of Covering The Bases (CTB) we are discussing one of the few cards that have been produced of Toni Stone, subject of the February 9th Google Doodle.
1994 Ted Williams #112 Toni Stone
There are not many Toni Stone Cards, This is from the 1994 Ted Williams Set. The picture is one of the most commonly used photos of Stone, and also serves as the anchor image for the Google doodle.
The photo overlays another image of Toni Stone – this one is a 1954 publicity photo of her with the Kansas City Monarchs.
Likely an appeal to show the feminine side of Toni Stone, the Monarchs photographed her applying makeup.
The flipside of the card gives a synopsis of Stone’s career concluding with a line summarizing her NAL stats.
1994 Ted Williams
The 1994 Ted Williams is a 162 historical card set largely composed of Hall of Famers and prospects, including a minor league Derek Jeter.
In a nod to Williams Hall of Fame speech advocating for the induction of Negro League players the set contains a 17-card subset of Negro Leaguers, produced with the assistance of noted author and historian Phil Dixon:
While all the players listed are highlights of the set, some names that jump out at me beyond Stone include Bud Fowler, Double Duty Radcliffe, and Leon Day.
Cards On Stage
in 2019 Team Phungo got to see the stage play “Toni Stone” loosely based on the life of Stone. There was a small but well curated exhibit in the lobby, among the items displayed was today’s card:
It was displayed in a glass case like a T206 Wagner. All cards should get this treatment!!
Here is an installation view of the case with a couple of pennants that represent Stone’s Career.
Baseball Cards also factored into the script of “Toni Stone.”
I believe the card Stone (portrayed by April Matthis) is looking at is 1934 Goudey #61 Lou Gehrig – although I am guessing this is a reprint or prop card.
I have no guesses on the other cards. If there is a card sleuth out there they can try and see more in this montage from the play – The cards show up shortly after the 35 second mark.
Editor’s note: Also shown are 1941 Play Ball cards of Arky Vaughan and Mel Ott as well as a 1935 Diamond Stars Hank Greenberg.
There you go, Today’s covering the bases takes us from Toni Stone to Ted Williams to Lou Gehrig.
Google documents background on many of their doodles which includes information on the artist. The Toni Stone doodle was created by illustrator/ animator Monique Wray.
In the interview Wray had a couple of key observations:
Q. Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: Toni was a trailblazer, a Black woman doing things she’s not expected to do, whether the world likes it or not, speaks to me.
Q. What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: Inspiration to persevere. Toni played with men, a lot of whom did not want her there. But almost every photo I see of her, she has a massive smile. She lived her life through adversity and did what she wanted to do.
The interview also contains a display of Wrays sketches for the doodle.
The Google synopsis includes a link for more info at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Sources and Links