Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson, Last Of Three Women To Play Baseball In Negro Leagues, Dead At 82
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, one of three women to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, died Tuesday at the age of 82.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League honored Johnson following her death, writing the following on Twitter:
“We remember pitcher Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson, who passed away at age 82. She was 1of 3 women to play in the Negro Leagues. She tried out for the AAGPBL, but regrettably due to the prejudice of the time she was denied. Thankfully, she went on to go 33-8 with a .260 AVG in 3 seasons.”
We remember pitcher Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, who passed away at age 82. She was 1of 3 women to play in the Negro Leagues. She tried out for the AAGPBL, but regrettably due to the prejudice of the time she was denied. Thankfully, she went on to go 33-8 with a .260 AVG in 3 seasons pic.twitter.com/0CuKEycVha
— AAGPBL Official (@AAGPBL) December 19, 2017
As the first female pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues, Johnson played alongside fellow Negro League teammates Toni Stone and Connie Morgan, who both passed away in 1996. As news station WUSA 9 reported, Johnson endured prejudice and discrimination as a result of segregation. At the age of 17 she was not accepted to be a member of the White Female Baseball League.
However, Johnson was not deterred. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. in 1947 she was selected by a scout to join the Indianapolis Clowns, where she played professionally with the team from 1953 to 1955. In the span of those three seasons, she and her team won 33 games and only lost eight.
Ultimately, Johnson received several awards for her athleticism including the Mary McLeod Bethune Continuing Award, as well as being recognized as a female baseball legend by then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton.
Then in 2008, Johnson, alongside other surviving Negro League members, were honored by being drafted by Major League franchises prior to the 2008 MLB First-Year Draft, with Johnson being drafted by the Washington Nationals.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) December 19, 2017
“Her love of the game and pioneering spirit as a member of the Negro League was an inspiration to generations,” the Nationals wrote on Twitter. “While we will miss her, her trailblazing legacy of competition, grit and risk-taking will not be forgotten.”