D.C. baseball field named in honor of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson

From Robert Samuels at the Washington Post on April 29, 2013, with mention of SABR member Larry Lester:

Major League Baseball has convened a brain trust of corporate executives, university administrators and tean owners to figure out how to get more African Americans to play baseball.

The District? It has Mamie “Peanut” Johnson.

“I am bringing baseball back to this community,” declared Johnson, 77 and silver-haired. “It is my history. I’ve decided that before I go, I am going to see people like me playing baseball again.”

In 1953, Johnson made history when she became the first female pitcher in an all-male professional baseball league. As a player with the Indianapolis Clowns during the final seasons of the Negro Leagues, she had her own uniform, a fan base, a trading card. But before all that, she was just a tiny teenage girl striking out grown men on a playground in Northeast Washington, which is where a retired pro first discovered her unusual talent.

Back then, as now, she had no doubts about her ability.

“I was a 10, honey,” she said. “I was pitching better than most of the men.”

Read the full article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-field-named-in-her-honor-female-baseball-legend-pitches-the-sport-to-districts-black-youth/2013/04/29/7a845158-adf2-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html

Originally published: April 29, 2013. Last Updated: April 29, 2013.