The First Woman Pitcher in Negro League to Have DC Street Named After Her


October 17, 2023

Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, the pioneering woman who made history as the first female pitcher in the Negro League, will be honored with a Washington, D.C. intersection bearing her name.

On October 11, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the intersection currently known as “Dave Thomas Circle” will be renamed “Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson Plaza” in tribute to the accomplished baseball player, reports NBC Washington.

Johnson, who played for the Indianapolis Clowns, will thus be forever associated with the intersection near Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE. The $41 million construction project is set to conclude in 2024, pending approval by the D.C. City Council.

Mayor Bowser lauded the project and Johnson’s legacy.

“Our community is ready to start a new chapter at this intersection, and we are off to a strong start by naming it after such an iconic woman,” said Bowser.


Bowser also commended the public engagement and thoughtful renaming process led by the Noma BID.

Over 4,300 D.C. residents participated in voting for name suggestions for the intersection between April 17 and June 25 of this year. The overwhelming choice was to honor Johnson, with NOMA BID saying she received 40% of the vote.

Maura Brophy, president and CEO of the NoMa BID, emphasized that the redesign of the Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE intersection “will transform the current space to make it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers while also creating more than one acre of green space for the benefit of the community.”


Mamie “Peanut” Johnson — who was a longtime DC resident — made history with the Indianapolis Clowns from 1953 to 1955. After being blocked from entering the all-white female league due to her being Black, Johnson became the lone woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues, alongside two other women who played baseball with men.

She was specifically known for her curveball, which she attributed to lessons she received from baseball legend Satchel Paige.

After her baseball career, Johnson transitioned into nursing. She passed away in 2017 from an undisclosed illness, leaving behind a legacy of courage and trailblazing achievement.


Photo by All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

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