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(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.
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"
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.
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, with the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club in the International League in 1951, 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.
He died of a heart attack 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 1990s.
Leon Day was a great Negro Leaguer and a fine gentleman whose Negro League career as a pitcher earned him seven All-Star Game berths and eventual induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
'What It Means, To Play at Leon Day Park'
“There are many expenses involved in operating a competitive youth baseball program such as ours here at James Mosher Baseball. Thanks to the financial support of the Leon Day Foundation, we are able meet our goals of keeping youth baseball alive in the Rosemont, Sandtown-Winchester and Harlem Park Communities. Your sponsorship helps to provide such things as the purchase of uniforms, insurance, baseball gear, field maintenance and umpire fees.
“We also thank you for attending our Family Day celebration for the last several years and for the contribution of snacks, beverages and monetary gifts to help our children not only learn the sport but to build life-long friendships.”