Leon Day

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This article is about the baseball player. For the holiday, see Leon Day (holiday).
Leon Day
Leon Day.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1916-10-30)October 30, 1916
Alexandria, Virginia
Died: March 13, 1995(1995-03-13) (aged 78)
Baltimore, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
Negro league baseball: 1934, Baltimore Black Sox
Last professional appearance
1952, MLB minor leagues
Career statistics
Win-Loss 37–19
Earned run average 2.98
Teams
Negro leagues
Mexican league
Puerto Rico winter league
  • Veracruz (1941)
MLB
Other
  • WWII Military service (1944–45)
Career highlights and awards
Inducted 1995
Election Method Veterans Committee

Leon Day (October 30, 1916 – March 13, 1995) was an American right-handed pitcher in the Negro leagues. He played for the Baltimore Black Sox, the Brooklyn & Newark Eagles, and the Baltimore Elite Giants.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Career[edit]

Day, born in Alexandria, Virginia, is noted for pitching a perfect season in 1937 (13-0) while playing for the Newark Eagles, and for his fastball. Day was also a good hitter and baserunner, batting .320 in 1937.

From 1935 through 1946 he appeared in a record seven East-West All-Star Games, and set an all-star record by striking out 14 batters. On July 24, 1942 Day set an NNL record when he struck out 18 Baltimore batters in a single game - including Roy Campanella three times. Day's teammate Monte Irvin referred to him

"He (Day) was as good or better than Bob Gibson. When he pitched against Satchel Paige, Satchel didn't have an edge. You thought Don Newcombe could pitch. You should have seen Day"[1]

When the Negro league was in the off-season, Day played winter ball in Puerto Rico. There he established a Puerto Rican record of 19 strikeouts.

During World War II Day served in the United States Army, landing on Utah Beach on D-Day.[2] He was discharged in February 1946, and on May 5 of that year pitched an Opening Day no-hitter against the Philadelphia Stars.

In 1950 he left the United States to play in Canada for a year. The next two years he returned to play in the minor leagues, (most of which by then were also becoming integrated), then returned to Canada to finish his career.

Later life[edit]

Day retired from baseball in 1955. He died of a heart attack in Baltimore, Maryland at age 78, in March 1995, just six days after learning he had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Leon Day was the 12th Hall of Famer chosen from the Negro leagues, and the seventh to be selected while he was still living. The "Bloomsbury Oval", a meadow/playgrounds in West Baltimore's Gwynns Falls Park was renamed for him as "Leon Day Oval" in the 1990's.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Jackie, Satchel & Co". ESPN. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ Ivice, Paul (2004-06-06). "Berra, baseball have D-Day legacy Former Yankee great was part of allied invasion". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 

References[edit]

  • Clark, Dick; Lester, Larry (1994), The Negro Leagues Book, Cleveland, Ohio: Society for American Baseball Research 
  • Hogan, Lawrence D. (2006), Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball, Washington DC: National Geographic, ISBN 0-7922-5306-X 
  • Riley, James A. (1994), The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf, ISBN 0-7867-0959-6 
  • Treto Cisneros, Pedro (2002), The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics, 1937–2001, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 0-7864-1378-6 

External links[edit]