In the limited history available about the Negro Leagues, it’s important to highlight the three women who played. After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, Syd Pollack, the owner of the Indianapolis Clowns was trying to find ways to bring fans back to Negro League games. Meet the
In the limited history available about the Negro Leagues, it’s important to highlight the three women who played. After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, Syd Pollack, the owner of the Indianapolis Clowns was trying to find ways to bring fans back to Negro League games. Meet the three women who broke the gender barrier in professional baseball.
She had been playing baseball with boys as a young girl in St. Paul, Minnesota and by the age of 16, she was playing for a semi-pro team, the Twin Cities Colored Giants. Before she became the league’s first female player, she played for two more semi-pro teams, the San Francisco Sea Lions and the New Orleans Creoles.
A lot of her Indianapolis Clowns teammates didn’t see her as an equal as they tried to sabotage her during games and faced unwanted advances. Coaches wanted her to wear a skirt like the players in the All-American Girls Professional League did and she denied it every time.
She didn’t play as often as she would like as she only appeared in 50 out of 175 games in 1953. After the season ended, her contract was sold to the Kansas City Monarchs where she played for 1954 before retiring.
In her professional career, she finished with a .243 batting average.
Morgan was signed at 19 years old to replace Stone on the Indianapolis Clowns. She played baseball with her hometown team, the North Philadelphia Honeydrippers, for five years with a .338 batting average before she made the transition.
Oscar Charleston, a player-manager in the Negro Leagues, scouted Morgan and described her as “one of the most sensational” female players he had ever witnessed. She was quickly signed right after and only played professionally for one season.
Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson
Even though Stone broke the gender barrier alone, Morgan was able to play with Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson. Due to her short stature, Peanut got her nickname after Hank Baylis looked at her from the batter’s box and said “What makes you think you can strike out a batter? You aren’t any larger than a peanut.”
She struck him out.
She played with the Clowns until 1955 but left before finishing the season to spend more time with her son.