Moffat Lecture to Explore Baseball Negro Leagues

Emma Johnson, Student Reporter

An expert in the history of the Negro Leagues will present at the 2023 Charles Hill Moffat Lecture on April 11 at 6:30 p.m, hosted by the history department in the Shawkey Dining Room of the Memorial Student Center.

“Dr. [Leslie] Heaphy is a foremost authority of the history of the Negro Leagues, including the women who played in the leagues,” said Dr. Kat Williams, a professor of sport history at Marshall. Williams went on to say that Heaphy’s knowledge of the Negro Leagues is important for the history of baseball as a whole. 

Heaphy is an associate professor of history at Kent State University at Stark, and her lecture is titled “A Journey Through the Negro Leagues.” The Negro Leagues were the professional baseball teams formed for African Americans in the 19th century that lasted until the 1960s.

Specifically, Heaphy will go over how the Negro Leagues began, what the leagues were like and why they disappeared. She will also highlight  key events within the leagues and the names that make the Negro Leagues important: Sol White, Rube Foster, Effa Manley, Jackie Robinson, and Mule Suttles. 

Dr. Greta Rensenbrink, the chair of the Department of History said, “Leslie is a sought-after speaker because of her expertise, but also because she has the ability to tell a great story and pull her audience into this hugely significant part of our social and cultural history.”

In addition to teaching, Heaphy currently serves as the president of the board of the International Women’s Baseball Center, vice president for the Society of American Baseball and chair of their Women in Baseball Committee. She is also the editor of the only journal devoted to the history of Black baseball published bi-annually, Black Ball

The 2023 Charles Hill Moffat Lecture is free and open to the public, and there will be a reception that will follow. For more information, contact Rensenbrink by e-mail at [email protected]