Google Doodle Celebrates Toni Stone: Who Was She and Why is She Being Honored?

Baseball player Toni Stone is the subject for the Google Doodle on February 9, 2022, marking the date she was inducted into the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.

Google has previously used this temporary change on its homepage
to praise other baseball legends.

This list includes Roberto Clemente on October 12, 2018 and Jackie Robinson on what would have been his 94th birthday, January 31, 2013.

Stone, who was born Marcenia Lyle Stone, was the first woman to feature regularly for an American big-league professional baseball team, doing so for the Indianapolis Clowns.

Battling sexism and racism, Stone was able to carve her name in history and has long been praised for her contribution to the game of baseball.

Who was Toni Stone?

Stone was born in 1921 in Bluefield, West Virginia, when the color barrier was still heavily enforced in American sports.

Stone later moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and developed her athleticism and skill in the local playgrounds and baseball fields.

At 15 she was brought on to the roster of the all-male semi-pro Twin Cities Colored Giants in a move that broke gender conventions.

In 1946, Stone went to bat with the San Francisco Sea Lions, marking the start of her professional career.

Google's summary of Stone's life also praised the mark she left during her career with the New Orleans Creoles, Indianapolis Clowns and the Kansas City Monarchs.

"[Stones] exceptional batting average of .280 earned her a spot on the bench with the Negro League All-Star team while she continued to travel across the United States playing second base for the minor league New Orleans Creoles," the summary said.

"In 1953, Stone filled the spot of future Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron as the second baseman for the Indianapolis Clowns, one of the League's most prestigious teams.

"Undeterred by taunts during her debut season with the Clowns, Stone hit a single off of Satchel Paige, who is widely considered the greater pitcher in Negro League history."

Why is Google Doodle celebrating Toni Stone?

Stone was inducted into the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame on February 9, 2020. In addition to this, in 1993 she was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. Google said it also wanted to take the opportunity to praise Stone during Black History Month.

Stone's impact on baseball resulted in her being honored in her hometown, St.Paul. In 1990, March 6 was declared "Toni Stone day"

Despite her accolades and endorsement from other baseball legends like Hank Aaron, who said she was "a very good baseball player", the Google Doodle illustrator, Monique Wray, insisted Stone fails to get the recognition she deserves.

Wray has commented that despite the accolades of Stone, she is not a household name.

"[Stone] being a Black woman, you know that that obviously has something to do with her not getting that sort of shine that she deserved for the significance of who she was and what she did," Wray said.

"But it's good that now, at least, we're doing that work and making that push."

Speaking on the animation of Stone at second base, Wray said: "I got kind of like a passion from photography of her, and just kind of the way she spoke about what she does, and her love of the sport and her lofe of life.

"I tried to give [the Doodle] some of that energy."

Stone died on November 2, 1996, at the age of 75 but her legacy lives on and most recently a stage play depicting her life hit Broadway, simply entitled Toni Stone.

Toni Stone
Screenshot of the Google Doodle on February 9 2022. Google used their doodle to praise Toni Stone, the first of three women to play professional baseball full-time for the Indianapolis Clowns, in the previously all-male Negro leagues. Google