First ‘Dayton Marcos Day’ celebrates history of Dayton’s Negro League baseball team

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) -June 12, 1920 was opening day for the Dayton Marcos, one of eight teams in the Negro National League. This week, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley proclaimed June 12 to be ‘Dayton Marcos Day’ in the city, 101 years after their first game.

After years of advocacy, Alex Smith says he’s glad the players are finally being recognized for their role in history with their own day

“It’s a great official first start,” he said.

Smith is a researcher and advocate for the Dayton Marcos and is working with a grassroots organization to bring the Marcos’ history to light. During the centennial year of the team, the pandemic changed a lot of plans, but now they’re back with more ideas for sharing the history and information with Daytonians and the world at large.

“We’re going to keep moving no matter what,” said Smith.

Their first steps include fundraising $20,000 for historic projects and art work around the city.

” The project really aims to use art to depict these players, because even though they were here for 30 years we only have three photos of them,” explained Smith. “We want to be able to recreate historically accurate scenes. Now its about raising money, ow its about making art …the goal is the story becomes known.

Local artists that are joining the project include Willis “Bing” Davis, Dwayne Daniel, James Pate, and Morris T. Howard are

This fundraising campaign continues for the next 100 days. For more information on how you can donate or to learn more about the Dayton Marcos, click here.

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