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Mamie "Peanut" Johnson
Transcript of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson
Mamie Johnson was born in Ridgeway, South Carolina on September 27, 1932. She live with her grandma, Cedonia Belton, and her uncle who they called Bones. Her mother, Della Belton, lived in Washington, DC and her father was nowhere to be found. Gentry Harrison left her mother before Mamie was even born.
Mamie at the age of twelve
She went to school at Treethorn Elementary until the age of 12, when her grandmother died. She left behind her uncle and the big house that sat on 80 acres filled with fruit trees to go live with her aunt and uncle in Long Beach, New Jersey.
When she got to New Jersey
She went to school in New Jersey at an all white school. There she wanted to play baseball but they wouldn’t let her at first. She tried softball, and didn’t like that. There was a league called the P.A.L. Club where the local police station donated their time. She tried out and made the team because she could pitch really well meaning accurate and fast.
ROWING UP FAST
At the age of 16 she played for an all-stars team. Then at the age of 17, she and one of her friends, from her all-stars team, went to try out for the All-American Girls Team but they weren't even able to try out because they weren’t let on the field. That was just because they were black.
Starting A Life In D.C.
After high school she went to live with her mom in Washington D.C. When she got there she got a job at an ice cream parlor. Her mother worked as registered nurse never missing a day of work just like Mamie, never not playing baseball. There she played for a sandlot team which was co-ed. (Guys and Girls)
The Beginning of the
Journey of a Life Time
One day a man in a black pin striped suit, as they described him, showed up and had been showing up for almost three weeks to watch Mamie. After the game he came up to her, introduced himself, and that’s when Mamie figured out that he was a baseball player himself, but retired. He told her that he was scouting different teams looking to recruit for the Indianapolis Clowns and that they were having tryouts that Saturday.
She was so excited. She got a good night’s sleep and was there early to warm up her arm. When she got there she noticed that she was the only one trying out. For the next few hours she spent her time having fun more than anything with some real baseball legends. After that she was accepted and next thing she knew, she was getting fitted for a uniform and cap.
Playing With The Pros
She spent the next three years playing for the Clowns receiving the nickname “Peanut” for being only five feet two inches tall and upsetting many with her strike outs. She and only one other girl on her team wore pants like the men. Usually the women, if they played, wore skirts. She didn't want to though because she wanted people to know that she was there to play, not to show off.
She was also worried that the guys wouldn't like her at first just like they didn't her friend on the team at the beginning, but she was wrong. They weren't best friends, her and the guys, but they didn't have a problem either.
Here she met on of her very best friends
Toni Stone. Toni was an amazing 2nd baseman.
A Happy Ever After
After retiring, she worked as a registered nurse for several years like her mom. When she got done withthat, she worked at a Negro League Baseball Shop in Capitol Heights, Maryland. During that time, she got married to Washingtonian Charles Johnson and they had a son.
All About Growing Up
She Made A Difference
Other remarkable things about her is that in 1999, she started an organization called the “They Play Baseball Foundation”. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to baseball instruction and transmitting the history of the game, particularly the Negro Leagues, to young people. Mamie Johnson is still living life to the fullest and was a young 78 years in September 2013.
Baseball is a lot different now than it was back when she was my age obviously, but now, you rarely see any girls playing baseball. Sometimes you see them in your small towns but that’s about it. I think it is really cool how even though she was discriminated, that she stuck with it and played right with the boys and didn’t slack any.
My Thoughts About Her
Her Signature for the Clowns and
the Years She Played for the Team!
Sources and Sites
“500 Million Blades of Grass.” Dr. K. Lynn Lewis. Dr. K. Lynn Lewis, 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://klynnlewis.com/wordpress/?p=334>.
“Former Negro League Baseball Players Honored at the White House.” BET. Black Entertainment Television, 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://www.bet.com/news/sports/photos/2013/08/former-negro-league-baseball-players-honored-at-the-white-house.html#!080513-sports-baseball-negro-league-players-white-house-mamie-johnson>.
Green, Michelle Y. A Strong Right Arm. New York: Dial, 2002. Print.
“Mamie Johnson.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 40. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
“Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson as a Young Lady.” The National Visionary Leadership Project. The National Visionary Leadership Project, 2002-2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://www.visionaryproject.org/johnsonmamie/>.
“Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson When She Was Pitching for the Indianapolis Clowns, CA. 1953-55.” The American Folklife Center. Lib. of Cong., 23 June 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://www.loc.gov/folklife/Symposia/Baseball/bios.html>.
“Obama Negro League.” AP Images. Associated, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://classic.apimages.com/OneUp.aspx?st=k&kw=mamie%20johnson&showact=results&sort=relevance&intv=None&sh=10&kwstyle=and&adte=1382720165&pagez=60&cfasstyle=AND&rids=4ac1340802da4b64b99cf69b73278748&dbm=PY2013&page=1&xslt=1&mediatype=Photo>.
“Obama Negro League.” AP Images. Associated, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <http://classic.apimages.com/OneUp.aspx?st=k&kw=mamie%20johnson&showact=results&sort=relevance&int>.
“Stone Playing for the Creoles.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Stone>.
Visionaryproject. Mamie “Peanut” Johnson: Growing Up In Ridgeway, South Carolina. YouTube. YouTube, 29 June 2009. Web. 23 Oct. 2013. <
Mamie Johnson is a very remarkable woman because she did things that most women in her time didn't even think of. She achieved many goals and was a role model to many.
If I could ask Mamie some questions it would probably be were you happy with your childhood and your living situation? I think she would say that "Yes I was happy but moving around a lot wasn't always fun and I just want to be with my mom and play baseball." A second would be, Who inspired you the most in your career? and I think she would say her "Uncle Bones". Last but not least, Are you happy with how everything ended? and I think her answer would be, "Definitely!" and I would have to agree with her from what I have heard.