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Leon Day

Profiles of Valor

Born in Alexandria, Virginia in October of 1916, Leon Day put together exemplary careers in both baseball and the military.

 

Against his mother’s wishes, Day dropped out of high school at the age of 17 to join a semi-professional baseball team,the Baltimore Black Sox. The decision to pursue a career in baseball paid off as Day would go on to become of the greatest pitchers in the history of the Negro Leagues. Over the course of his career, Leon Day played for the Baltimore Black Sox, the Brooklyn and Newark Eagles, the Baltimore Elite Giants, and the Veracruz Red Eagles. He also appearedin the Mexican League with the Mexico City Red Devils. In Day’s second season with the Newark Eagles, he threw a perfect 12-0 record while batting .320. He was voted an All-Star seven times while posting a career record of 64 wins and 29 losses and a 2.98 earned run average. He also led the Newark Eagles to a Negro League World Series championship in 1946.

 

During the prime of his career at age 26, Leon Day joined the United States Army and fought for two years, 1944-1945, in the European Theatre of Operations of World War II. He was drafted on September 1, 1943. A member of the 818th Amphibian Battalion, Day landed and fought on Utah Beach during the D-Day invasions. He played for OISE All- Stars and played in the ETO World Series. Day was discharged from the war in February of 1946, returning to the Newark Eagles in May.

 

Day played in the Mexican League until 1948, then returned to the Negro National League in 1949 in order to help theBaltimore Elite Giants win the pennant. Following his time there, he went to Canada to play for the semi-pro WinnipegBuffaloes of the Man-Dak League. He pitched for Toronto in the International League in 1951, ultimately finishing his career in Canada with the Brandon Greys in 1955.

 

His baseball career was honored in 1995 when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Leon Day wasboth an incredible ball player and patriot.