Mamie Johnson, one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues, has died at the age of 82.
Johnson began playing baseball as a child and first attempted to try out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a 17-year-old, but she wasn’t allowed on the field because she was black. So she turned to the Negro Leagues, where she signed on with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953 and spent three seasons racking up a 33-8 record as a pitcher while hitting .270. She became the first woman to pitch in the league. Johnson was tagged with the nickname “peanut” for her small size and was said to throw a fastball, slider, screwball and circle change.
After retiring from baseball, she spent several decades working as a nurse. The State of Columbia, S.C.—not far from Johnson’s childhood home of Ridgeway, S.C.—has a wonderful obituary.