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2023 Moffat Lecture to feature a look at the Negro Leagues  

The Marshall University Department of History will present the 2023 Charles Hill Moffat Lecture featuring Dr. Leslie Heaphy, associate professor of history at Kent State University at Stark.

The lecture, “A Journey through the Negro Leagues,” will take place Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Shawkey Dining Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Heaphy is also the president of the board of the International Women’s Baseball Center, and vice president for the Society of American Baseball Research and chair of their Women in Baseball Committee. Her lecture will examine the origin of the Negro Leagues, what the leagues were like and why they disappeared.

The Negro Leagues’ journey began in the 19th century and lasted into the 1960s. Heaphy will lecture about key events in the leagues and the names that make the Negro Leagues important: Sol White, Rube Foster, Effa Manley, Jackie Robinson and Mule Suttles.

Dr. Kat Williams, Marshall professor of sport history, says Heaphy’s knowledge of the Negro Leagues is important to the history of baseball.

“Dr. Heaphy is a foremost authority on the history of the Negro Leagues, including the women who played in the leagues,” Williams said.

Heaphy is also editor of the only journal devoted to the history of Black baseball published bi-annually, Black Ball. She was a member of the selection committee of Negro Leaguers to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from 2006 to 2021.

As 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.”

The lecture is free and open to the public and a reception will follow the lecture. For more information, content Rensenbrink by e-mail at