Geraldine Day, November 22, 2022


Geraldine Day, November 22, 2022
Geraldine Day
Stevie Peters
November 22, 2022
Leon Day
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Negro League
New Jersey
North Carolina
Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Fame
Rural Life
Geraldine Day was born on July 7th, 1939, in Garland, North Carolina. Growing up, she lived with her big, close-knit family in the house her grandfather built. Day later moved to New Jersey with her two young children to join other members of her family who migrated North. There, she met and married Leon Day, a bartender who worked near her grandparents' home in the Neck.

After two years with him, Leon revealed to her that he had been a professional baseball pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Day accompanied him to many reunions, meeting star players in the Negro Leagues such as Clint Thomas and Cool Papa Bell. Hungry to learn more about the game, Day stuck close to the players during these events. She also got to rejoice with her husband when Leon was chosen to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Sadly, he died a few days later.

During our interview, Day's memories range from her childhood in rural North Carolina to keen insight on problems in our society today. Of particular interest is her recounting of stories told to her about her late husband, including a unique story that highlights Leon's signature pitch and a harrowing yet comical incident from his time serving in World War II. However, our discussion never strays far away from Day; her life and experiences are in the forefront as she unveils the past times of her youth and her relationship to baseball today.

I interviewed Ms. Geraldine through Zoom. Ms. Geraldine talked to me in her home, near Baltimore, Maryland. Her relationship with Baltimore formed the climax of our interview, where Day speaks directly to new generations and gives her wisdom on how to help children coming up today.

Ms. Geraldine often speaks in African American Vernacular English (or AAVE). Out of respect for Day and to preserve the dialect, I reproduced as many of her pronunciations and colloquialisms as much as possible. Grammatical differences have also been maintained. Consultation of the audio recordings may be needed.
Time Summary
Track 1, 0:00 - Start; Family
Track 1, 03:26 - Sports in childhood
Track 1, 05:17 - Past times in childhood
Track 1, 07:35 - High school sports
Track 1, 09:00 - Life up North
Track 1, 17:17 - Relationship with Leon Day
Track 1, 24:51 - Experience with Negro League reunions 1
Track 2, 33:45 - Leon's time in the military
Track 2, 35:48 - Experience with Negro League reunions 2
Track 2, 38:43 - Leon's dream of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame
Track 2, 46:47 - Finding out Leon got into the Negro Leagues
Track 2, 49:45:04 - Role of baseball in her life now
Track 2, 52:29 - Love of football
TRACK 2, 53:57 - Views on the next generation
Track 2, 57:08 - Societal tension in Maryland
Track 2, 60:00 - Relationship with grandson
Track 2, 01:02:40 - End
Stevie Peters
Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York at Oneonta Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York at Oneonta
Cooperstown Graduate Association, Cooperstown, NY
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY
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