Rosedale Neighborhood News in the Hill Rag, May 2009

Extracted from "May Calendar - Go. Do. See.", page 24 [highlights have been added]

Extracted from "Capitol Streets - Bulletin Board", Page 38

Rosedale Gets Love (and Cameras) from the Community
by: Tanya Snyder

Peanut Johnson Field
Ward 6 resident Jerome Grey asked for community support to rename Rosedale Field after an African-American woman who played in the Negro Baseball League half a century ago. Mamie “Peanut” Johnson was discovered at the Rosedale playground by a scout when she was about 18 years old. She became one of three women to play professional men’s baseball (all three played in the Negro Leagues).

Johnson signed with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953 after being rejected by a professional women’s team because of her race. During her three-year career, she pitched at such legendary ballparks as Yankee Stadium, Comiskey Park and Griffith Stadium. She reportedly acquired her nickname when she was playing in Birmingham and a Black Barons player asked, “How do you expect to strike anybody out? You’re no bigger than a peanut.”

She struck him out.

Johnson won 33 games and lost eight. Her career ended when the league did. Once Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues in 1955, soon to be followed by Johnson’s friend and mentor Satchel Paige, the need for a Negro League was diminished, and their best players were being recruited by the big leagues.

Community member Robert Clayton joined Grey in speaking for the name change. He said it was an opportunity to recognize a great African-American role model for young women. He said the name change would make Rosedale Field a “memorial to what women can do.”

Clayton and Grey emphasized that they’re not suggesting changing the name of Rosedale Recreation Center – just the field.

Rosedale Friends
Rosedale Recreation Center got yet more attention from the ANC this month. Two organizations are trying to both be the center’s best friend. The Rosedale Youth Initiative and the Rosedale Citizens Alliance are applying jointly to become a “park partner” to the Rosedale Recreation Center. The process has changed since the last time they applied, and they now need a letter of support from the ANC to form the Friends of Rosedale.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will only accept one application to be a “friends of” group for the center, though the joint application doesn’t present a problem. However, there is some pressure to act soon.

To fundraise for the center, an organization needs to be a “park partner” or the official “friends of” group. Since the groups can’t fundraise for the activities, there’s no money to hold them. The ANC worried that the process was holding up some youth activities.

The groups’ plan for park improvement and maintenance includes volunteer cleanups and other beautification projects, such as planting flowers, minor maintenance projects and painting (with the approval of the DPR.)

Meanwhile, commissioners and Community Outreach Committee Chair Elizabeth Nelson agreed that the organizations be “park partners” and not “friends of” since the “friends of” designation makes an organization the key contact for future redevelopment of the community center. They want the ANC to have that status.

The ANC sent the question back to the committee for further discussion. The committee may then decide to draft a letter for the ANC to send in support of the application.

Cameras at Rosedale
The ANC voted to write a letter in support of the installation of a surveillance camera at the corner of 17th and Gales streets NE in front of the entrance to – you guessed it – Rosedale Recreation Center. Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Renato Caldwell of the Public Service Area (PSA) 103 says the corner is a “blind corner” that the police are unable to monitor adequately.

Over the past year, there has been a 200 percent increase in robberies with guns and a 40 percent increase in non-violent burglaries, all within 500 feet of this location. Also, summer is right around the corner, when crimes rates tend to spike. Several community members spoke in favor of the cameras.

Extracted from the ANC6A [Report], page 52 and 53

All above images and text have been extracted, in its entirety, from the May 2009 Hill Rag

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