*With her headline-generating experience pitching on the mound at this year’s Little League World Series (LLWS), this is truly Mo’Ne Davis’ season. In more ways than one.
Apparently Davis, who has attracted well-known fans in Mike Trout and Russell Wilson, can count a legendary Negro League pioneer as one of many who have been wowed by her skills. The fan in question is Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, who was among those attending Davis’ LLWS opener in Williamsport, Philadelphia on Friday.
The 78-year-old baseball veteran was the first of three females to pitch in Negro League history, according to the New York Daily News, which noted that Johnson played for the Indianapolis Clowns from 1953-55 with an impressive 33-8 career record on the mound and a .273 batting average. She was nicknamed “Peanut” based on her 5-foot-3 height.
Her reaction to seeing Davis in action?
“It’s the greatest gift in God’s green earth to be here,” Johnson told the Daily News while seeing Davis pitch a two-hit shutout in her team’s 4-0 win over a squad from Nashville.
The similarities between Johnson and Davis were among the reasons Johnson says she is drawn to Davis. During her time in pre-Civil Rights America Johnson endured and continued to play baseball, despite dealing with racial slurs from fans and never staying in a “white” hotel.
The LLWS opener isn’t the first time Davis and Johnson met. The pitchers came face to face a few years ago when Davis’ club team barnstormed in similar fashion to Johnson’s days, even in a 1947-style bus to pay homage to Jackie Robinson, according to the Daily News.
Upon learning that Johnson was at Friday’s game, Davis, who had no idea Johnson there, said, “It’s amazing, I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Davis ultimately saw Johnson a couple hours after the game. The pair was all hugs and smiles, with Johnson acknowledging the moment.
“You have no idea how much this means to me,” said Johnson.
To read the NY Daily News’ full story on Mo’Ne Davis and Mamie Johnson, click here. To see footage of Davis and Johnson meeting as well as Johnson’s interview with the Daily News, check out the videos below: