Friday, May 1, 2009

A Strong Right Arm Michelle Green

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson by Michelle Y. Green Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, was one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues and the only pitcher. Green is the first to tell Johnson's story. The two met at a Negro League Baseball shop. I could just imagine Green and Johnson getting together for a few months. Mamie "Peanut" Johnson telling her story while Green patiently listened, asking a few questions for clarification. Beginning with the introduction, its only Mamie's voice we hear throughout. Mamie tells of her early years, being raised by her grandmother and her Uncle Leo teaching her how to pitch. Mamie refused to let her gender and race stop her from playing the game she loved. Mamie's arm was too good for everyone ignore. Some of Mamie's early years where spent in N.J. where she was the only female and African American player for Police Athletic League. They won the championship two years straight. As Mamie got older, she continued to find teams to play on. Once Mamie and Rita, a teammate went to try out for the All American Girls. The female league that inspired the movie A League of Their Own. The two weren't even allowed to step on the field. That didn't stop Mamie, she continued to play. She was finally spotted by scout for the Indianapolis Clowns, a Negro League Baseball team. Mamie played three years with the team. The other two female players - Toni Stone and Connie Morgan played for the Clowns as well. Mamie lists her careers numbers at the end, even without that I knew she had to be a great pitcher. A man who scouted Hank Aaron gave Mamie his seal of approval. Sathcel Paige told Mamie she had some good stuff and took the time to teach her a curveball. That is all I needed to know about Mamie "Peanut" Johnson's arm. A Strong Right Arm was such a joy to read and a must for any baseball fan.
This would go nicely with The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane. About a girl who pitches for her eight grade baseball team.

On March 27,2009- 17 yr old Eri Yoshida made history. She is the first female professional baseball player in Japan. Yoshida is a pitcher with a sidearm knuckleball.

And you have Apryl to thank for the two additional baseball stories.

1 comment:

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thank YOU for the link love!