Freeman: Honoring a Baltimore hero and a baseball legend, Leon Day

From SABR member Michelle Freeman at Home Plate Don’t Move on December 22, 2015:

The Leon Day Foundation, Inc., was founded in 2001 by Mrs. Geraldine Day, widow of the late Leon Day, Negro Leagues pitcher and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Leon Day Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to the education and preservation of the legacies of Leon Day and the Negro Leagues. The Foundation’s purpose is to give recognition and exposure to a group of talented baseball players who were never acknowledged. The Foundation is about kids and baseball, and the fierce urgency of connecting the two. We do this by making baseball history “relevant and exciting” and by playing baseball.

Prior to the founding of the organization, Leon Day’s memory and legacy were firmly cemented in Baltimore. In 1995, then-Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke renamed the Eutaw Street Plaza entrance to Oriole Park at Camden Yards the “Leon Day Way.” On Aug. 23, 1997, Mayor Schmoke renamed the former “Bloomsbury Oval,” a meadows/playground along the Gwynn Falls Trail, to “Leon Day Oval.” It is most commonly referred to as Leon Day Park.

Leon Day became the first Negro League player in Baltimore to have a city park named in his honor. This park has been a source of pride for families in the Rosemont/Franklintown community. The park received funding from Peter Angelos, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Mr. Angelos provided funding for the baseball diamonds, basketball courts, playground, lighting system, dugouts and the viewing stands.

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Originally published: December 22, 2015. Last Updated: December 22, 2015.