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LEON DAY - CHECK ENDORSED 12/07/1993 CO-SIGNED BY: G. RICHARD MCKELVEY - DOCUMENT 290117

 

LEON DAY
Day cashed a $17 check written by baseball author and historian G. Richard McKelvey
Check Endorsed "Leon Day" 6x2¾. Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts, 1993 December 7. Check #331, drawn on the joint account of G. Richard McKelvey and Joan M. McKelvey at the Fleet Bank, payable to Leon Day for $17. LEON DAY (1916-1995), a pitcher in the Negro Leagues, played for the Baltimore Black Sox, the Brooklyn and Newark Eagles and the Baltimore Elite Giants. He appeared in a record seven East-West All Star Games from 1935-1946. He had a perfect season (13-0) while playing for the Newark Eagles in 1937. Day, a veteran of World War II, landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. He died of a heart attack only 6 days after learning he had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. G. RICHARD McKELVEY, teacher and baseball coach at Deerfield Academy, wrote several books about baseball history. Bank processing stamps on verso. Fine condition. A portion of the screen image has been altered to protect sensitive information. The original check does not contain these concealing marks.


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LEON DAY   G. RICHARD MCKELVEY  


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LEON DAY
Born: October 30, 1916 in Alexandria, Virginia
Died: March 14, 1995 in Baltimore, Maryland


Born: October 30, 1916 in Alexandria, Virginia
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Veteran's Committee as Player in 1995.
Died: March 14, 1995 in Baltimore, Maryland (Aged 78)
Buried: Arbutus Memorial Park, Baltimore, MD

LEON DAY
This article was written by Tom Kern and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

So much of Leon Day's story is caught up in his last years and his long wait for the Hall of Fame call. For Leon, who spent a lifetime exceeding at his professional calling, punching his card at every level of baseball but one, the word from the Hall came in what were to be his final days. "I thought this day would never come. I'm feeling pretty good," he said when he received word from the Hall at his hospital bed on March 8, 1995. "I'm so happy, I don't know what to do. I never thought it would come." Leon was joined that day in the hospital (where he had been admitted for diabetes and heart troubles) by his wife, family, teammates, and friends to share the good news of his induction with him.

There had been times when he said this accolade was not important. He had said as much about the money, too. "When they told me they was gonna pay me to play baseball, I said they must be crazy. I said I'd play for nothing." He valued his career in the Negro Leagues, especially knowing that it gave him the memories and sense of accomplishment it did. "I was glad to play in the Negro Leagues. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world." However, in a 1992 interview in conjunction with his throwing out the first ball at a September 24, 1992, Baltimore Orioles game, Leon acknowledged that "it would mean a lot to me to get into the Hall of Fame, to be grouped with some of the greatest players in history."

In the end, the call meant everything to him, perhaps giving him the impetus he needed to enter the next world. For Leon died on March 13, 1995, at the age of 78, five days after he got word of the ultimate honor. "I think that's what he was waiting for," said his sister Ida May Bolden. And so it was his wife, Geraldine, who tearfully spoke on his behalf at the induction ceremony in Cooperstown that summer, surrounded by the many Hall of Famers on stage Leon wanted to have as peers.


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