Black History Month: Mamie “Peanut” johnson

Mamie Johnson book a Strong Right Arm.jpg
Mamie Johnson (Peanut) was born Mamie Belton on September 27, 1935 in Ridgeway, SC.  She was the second woman, and the first female pitcher to play with the men in the Negro Leagues. 

She played for the Indianapolis Clowns from 1953 to 1955 and had a 33-8 W-L record

Here is a cover of a children’s book titled: “A Strong Right Arm:  The Story of Mamie “Peanut Johnson by Michelle Y. Green.  Grades 4-6. 

 Despise the hardship, there were memorable highlights for Johnson.  The great LEROY SATCHEL PAIGE helped her perfect the curveball.   Don’t squeeze the ball so tight, Paige told her. and let it break to the outside.  



According to Johnson her most unforgettable moment came in a game between the Clowns and the Kansas City Monarchs.  Facing off against third baseman Hank Bayliss with a runner on first, Johnson threw a called strike.  the second ball was high and outside.  Johnson’s third ball was another strike.  According to Johnson, Bayliss then called out to her on the mound with a voice so loud, the crowd could hear him.  “YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A PEANUT”, he alledgedly yelled.  Johnson reared back and threw a third strike–gaining a strike out and a nickname at the same time! 




After her baseball career ended, she was a nurse for 30 years, and also coached youth baseball. When she retired from nursing, she was the manager of a Negro Leagues memorabilia shop. She was also a guest lecturer at a Library of Congress symposium in October 2009.

Here is Mamie as a young girl and in uniform in 2007.    



Mamie with her  uni.jpg


ref:  African American Lives. Michelle Green’s book. 




  1. crzblue2

    It pleases me so much to know that someone can learn something from my blog! Thanks!
    No! I did not know that! That is terrific!
    You know during the baseball season, I can pickup KNBR at night. I enjoy listening to it.
    Thanks for stopping by! I’ll check out your blog

    • Thiara

      You didn’t answer the aptnsiam question correctly, your comment was not saved. Press “Back” and answer the question better.Just to be sure that your message won’t be lost – copy it now to the clipboard. 搞得我很紧张来着.. 特地来留言测试一下下….果然..是啥子插件啊?压根都木有问题出来

  2. kaiserthegreat

    You can also download KNBR podcasts of your DJ of choice, which is what I’ve started doing instead of listening to the radio, so that I can hear the entire interview rather than whatever I happen to catch when I’m in my car. Of course, they don’t talk about LA much, so I’m not sure how interesting you’d find it.

  3. greg1969

    SUPER entry, Emma! That book sounds like a great read! 33-8, eh? Not too shabby! 😉 Good to see Paige help her out, also! Thanks, Emma!

  4. crzblue2

    Well if is a good interview of someone I would want to hear, yes. But yeah, they do not talk much about LA but I like hearing Giant fans complain :-).
    Peanuts still does look great in her uni! She was in San Diego last year along with other Negro League players being honored. Sure wish I could meet her! She is the only one still alive of all three!
    Those two pictures are my favorite ones too! I saw plenty but like the smiles on those two!
    Quite a record! She was in the regular rotation and other times played in the infield. Sachel! What a guy! And to offer to help her! I like the guy even more!

  5. raysrenegade

    This is why I love so much.
    It would take a long time for me to see such great feats and stories put into print or popped online, but this blogging community brings out interesting facts, figures and stories every day.
    Great post, and one I really enjoyed reading today.
    I never knew about this great pitcher, and I am glad you got to tell us about her.
    Way to go!

    Rays Renegade

  6. rrrt

    Emma, what an interesting entry! I never knew there had been any female players in the Negro leagues. Though you don’t mention it, I’m assuming that she was not a particularly large person, to have earned the nickname “Peanut”? I’m sure she must have a wealth of fascinating stories to tell!
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  7. crzblue2

    You are so welcome Jenn!
    I am so glad you liked it!
    According the the Indianapolis Clowns program (wish I had one!), Mamie Johnson weight 120 pounds and stood 5’3″! imagine that!
    She still alive! She was in San Diego along other players that played in the Negro League that were being honored. I wish I would have known about it earlier. I would have made the trip the two hour trip to San Diego.

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