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Baseball trailblazer Toni Stone was married to US Army's 'first black officer'

Yasmine Leung February 9, 2022
Baseball trailblazer Toni Stone was married to US Army's 'first black officer'
Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

The Google Doodle for 9 February 2022 honours female African-American baseball player Toni Stone, so the topic of whether she was married is now trending.

Baseball legend Toni Stone was celebrated in Google’s animated Doodle as part of Black History Month.

Breaking down the barriers of sport in the 1950s, she was the first woman to play regularly in a major American men’s professional sports league and was one of three women to join male league team the Indianapolis Clowns.

As readers discover more about her inspiring legacy, her personal life has also become a topic of discussion.

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Toni Stone was married to Aurelious Pescia Alberga

Aged 23, Stone moved from her childhood home in St Paul, Minnesota, to the Fillmore District in San Francisco. There she met future husband Captain Aurelious Pescia Alberga at Jack’s Tavern, the neighbourhood’s first black-owned nightclub.

The pair married in 1950 – there was a 37-year age gap between them.

Born 22 October 1884, Alberga was an Oakland native who served as a non-commissioned lieutenant in the First World War. He graduated from officer candidate school in 1919, becoming the first black second lieutenant in the Army, as per UPI.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Stone called him the “first black man to serve as an officer in the US Army”.

He trained and instructed Company A, 365th Infantry, and was promoted to first lieutenant before leaving the Army in the 1920s. Alberga’s post-army career was at a San Francisco bail bond company before he retired in the 1960s.

In 1988, the veteran passed away from natural causes aged 103 at a nursing home in Alameda, California.

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They were a loving aunt and uncle

It’s unsure whether the couple had children but they were certainly close to their nieces and nephews: Maria A Bartlow (niece), Monica D Franks (great niece), Odin Bartlow (great nephew), and Shawn Bartlow (great nephew).

They spoke to Google for the Doodle project, saying: “As children, we remember our Aunt Toni and her husband Aurelius Alberga (Uncle Pescia), who loved and adored her. Aunt Toni and Uncle Pescia would always encourage us to figure out what we wanted to do in life and go for it regardless of what people may think.”

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.