Mamie Johnson, the daughter of Gentry Harrison and Della Belton Havelow, was born on September 27, 1935, in Ridgeway, South Carolina. When she was only seven years old, she would play baseball every day. When she left South Carolina to pursue her college education in 1943, she refused to let anyone or anything interfere with her love of playing baseball. She practiced while pursuing her studies at New York University.
In 1953, Bish Tyson, a former player with the Negro League, observed Ms. Johnson practicing on a field in Washington, D.C. He was overwhelmed by her athletic abilities. He maintained that she was a great player and suggested that she play professional baseball. He introduced her to Bunny Downs, Manager of the Indianapolis Clowns. After one tryout, Mamie Johnson made the team. What an outstanding achievement for a female athlete!
While pitching her first game with the Clowns, a batter on the opposing team yelled to her, ""What makes you think you can strike a batter out? Why, you aren't any larger than a peanut!"" Mamie never said a word, but the batter soon found out what she could do! 1 - 2 - 3 - OUT! From that day, the 100 pound baseball player had the nickname, Peanut.