Stella (Williams) Robinson

1990 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Son: Kenny Robinson

At a time when the media did not give black female athletes very much coverage, documentation of their accomplishments was almost non-existent. It was not unusual, in the black community, to find Stella around the playgrounds of the city challenging the boys in such games as horseshoes and winning more games than the boys thought she should. She played touch football, softball, basketball, pingpong and paddle tennis. Had the opportunity of participation presented itself, Stella’s accomplishments would have been compared with some of the great female athletes around. Stella was one of the outstanding all around black female athletes in Flint’s history.

However small, some highlights of Stella’s brilliant career were documented. In 1940 she won the most games for St. John and they became the regional softball champions. Stella was the third leading scorer in the 1939 city recreation basketball league. She pitched both the morning and evening games of the 1940 State Tournament. In the first game she gave up one hit and won the game 3 to 2 with a home run. In the second game she allowed 3 hits but, nevertheless, won the game 3 to 2 and hit another home run to win the game.

Stella was also the outstanding pitcher on the 1941 team reaching the semi-finals in the State Tournament. In July 1944, Stella made history. The Flint Journal wrote “Great Negro speed ball pitcher and home-run hitter signs with the Unionettes (white) Softball Team for the State Tournament.” Stella won the game she pitched, 9 to 1. They were runners up in the State Tournament Women’s Majors in 1944. Stella pitched against Women’s World Champions Bob Inn of Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1944.

She also pitched a no-hitter for the Unionettes, 3 to 0 in 1945. Stella was selected to the Flint All-Star Team in 1945.

In her later years she was involved in the Senior Winter Olympics and exercised her versatile skills by winning gold medals in pingpong, arm wrestling, pool, bowling and the basketball free-throw championship in 1979 and 1980. A competitor extraordinaire, we honor her great accomplishments tonight. Stella passed away in February, 1981.