DC Little League Team Close To Winning Championship!
The Mamie Johnson Little League Team—so named for Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, Washingtonian and the first female pitcher to play in the Negro leagues—captured hearts last month when they beat Capitol Hill 14-7 to take home the D.C. Little League Championship.
Shortly after their win, the team put up a donation page hoping to raise at least $10,000 to help with the travel and lodging expenses on the trip to Bristol. By the end of the day Wednesday, the team had raised $15,000 from about 200 donors, ensuring they could make their way to the tournament, last Saturday.
If there's anything leftover after that, Barnes says the team will use it to help run the league, buying supplies for the kids like gloves, bats, and balls, and playing for some of the costs of operation, like insurance.
Barnes says his team is unique in that they only charge participating kids $20 to register, while other teams in the District can charge families more than $200. Mamie Johnson has managed to avoid charging so much by raising money through fundraisers; last year, the team got a grant from 7-11 and they've also held an annual hit-a-thon to raise money, Barnes says.
Part of the reason Mamie Johnson Little League's win has captured so much attention is because it's a relatively new league that serves Ward 8, where baseball has historically not been a popular sport among kids.
Baseball's lack of diversity and low popularity among black youth has been front and center in recent discussions about the future of the sport. Mamie Johnson's coaches and organizers are hoping this win will help shift the tide in D.C.
While the team lost their game against a team from Staten Island, they are still in the running to be able to play the Little League World Series!