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22 Dec 2017

Mamie Johnson, first female pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues passes away at age 82

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December 22, 2017 Category: Diaspora, Sports Posted by:

WASHINGTON (WUSA) – Tuesday December 19th the sports world lost a legend.

Mamie Johnson, also known as “Peanut” passed away at the age of 82.

She was one of three women, and the first female pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues.

Though she had to face lots of adversities growing up in the time of segregation and discrimination, she didn’t allow that to stop her passion for baseball.

When Johnson was only 17 years old, she was rejected as a member by the White Female Baseball League.

She proclaimed, “If I had played with white girls, I would have just been another player, but now I am somebody who has done something that no other woman has done.”

Johnson definitely did something that no other woman had done.

She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1947 to live with her mother.

It was in D.C., while working at an ice cream shop and playing baseball on the weekends, that she would be recruited by a scout for the Indianapolis Clowns who introduced her to the business manager.

They arranged a tryout in DC, and the rest is history.

She played professional baseball with the Indianapolis Clowns for three seasons, from 1953 to 1955.

During that time, she won 33 games and only lost 8.

Her batting average ranged from .262 to .284.

She received many honors in her lifetime.

Former President Bill Clinton, and former First Lady Hilary Clinton honored Mamie Johnson at the White House as a female baseball legend.

She received the Mary McLeod Bethune Continuing Award.

Also in 2003, a book about her life, “A Strong Right Arm”, was released.

June 5, 2008, Mamie and other living players from the Negro League Era were drafted by major league franchises prior to the 2008 MLB First year Draft.

Johnson was selected by the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals’ sent this a tweet remembering the baseball legend.



Baseball Hall of Fame President, Jeff Idelson also tweeted out a message with his condolences.


Our thoughts are with Mamie “Peanut” Johnson’s family.

She will be missed.

© 2017 WUSA-TV

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