Mamie Johnson, Trailblazer in the Negro Leagues, Dies at 82

Mamie Johnson, one of a modest bunch of ladies to play in baseball’s Negro alliances in the mid 1950s — and the just a single known to pitch — passed on Monday in a Washington healing center. She was 82.


She had been admitted to the healing facility due to issues with her pacemaker, her stepdaughter Yvonne Livingston said. Johnson lived in Washington.

The Negro alliances were disappearing when Johnson joined the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953. Jackie Robinson had incorporated the majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, and the most skilled dark players were being selected by significant alliance groups.

Be that as it may, Negro class groups still developed skilled players. (Hank Aaron played for the Clowns a few years previously Johnson joined the group.) And the Clowns were available to marking ladies: Two others, Toni Stone and Connie Morgan, likewise played for the group in the mid 1950s, both as infielders.

Johnson, who remained around 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed around 120 pounds amid her playing days — subsequently the epithet Peanut — was at first marked to a great extent as an oddity. Other than genuine baseball, the Clowns and different groups in the Negro classes likewise arranged comic drama schedules and trouped playing show recreations to supplement what they earned from focused play.

Be that as it may, Johnson could pitch. She said she had obtained her epithet while playing for the Clowns when a restricting player disparaged her as resembling a shelled nut on the hill. She at that point struck him out.

She soon found a customary spot in the Clowns’ turn. A misleadingly hard-tossing right-hander, she tossed a fastball, slider, circle change, screwball and curveball, for which she got pointers from the Negro classes incredible Satchel Paige, she revealed to The New York Times in 2010.

Insights from the Negro groups in those years are spotty, best case scenario, however her record with the Clowns was said to be a great 33-8 amid her three years on the group.

Johnson may have owed her opportunity to exceed expectations in a man’s association to some extent to prejudice. In the late 1940s, preceding she was enrolled to play for the Clowns, she needed to go for a group in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which propelled the 1992 film “A League of Their Own,” yet she was not permitted to.

“I’m so happy right up ’til today that they turned me down,” Johnson disclosed to The Times. “To realize that I was adequate to be with these men of their word made me the proudest woman on the planet. Presently I can state that I’ve accomplished something that no other lady has ever done.”

She was conceived on Sept. 27, 1935, in Ridgeway, S.C. Her mom, Della Belton Havelow, a dietitian, and her dad, Gentry Harrison, isolated when she was youthful. An uncle, Leo Belton, who was close to her age and more like a sibling, showed her how to play baseball beginning when she was around 6.


She grew up playing with the young men, utilizing balls made out of rocks wrapped in twine, and sharpened her precision by tossing at flying creatures roosted on wall. She later moved to New Jersey, where she played on a young men’s Police Athletic League group, and after that to Washington, where she played on amateur men’s sandlot groups before she joined the Clowns.

She wedded Charles Johnson and had a child, Charles, in the blink of an eye before she began playing with the Clowns. She last played for the group in 1955, leaving to wind up plainly a medical attendant and to invest more energy watching over her child. She additionally trained youth alliance baseball groups and worked in a store that sold Negro associations stock.

After the finish of her first marriage she wedded Emanuel Livingston, who survives her. Notwithstanding him and her stepdaughter Yvonne Livingston, her survivors incorporate four different stepdaughters, Gretchen Hall, Zonia Haskins and Theresa and Angela Livingston; one stepson, Emanuel; her uncle, Leo; a few kin; two grandsons; and numerous progression grandchildren. Her child passed on in 2016.

Johnson might not have taken an interest in the association that propelled “A League of Their Own,” however she inspired her very own alliance. The Mamie “Nut” Johnson Little League was shaped in 2015 in Washington, for both young men and young ladies.

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