Saturday, October 07, 2006

Remembering Buck O'Neil

I was fortunate to meet Buck O'Neil in February at the Negro Leagues Museum.

Tip of the cap to baseball ambassador Buck O'Neil, who died yesterady at age 94.

One of the joys of my job is that sometimes you get to be in places where you meet some incredible people. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Mr. O'Neil twice -- you can read about it here -- and he was an amazing gentleman.

We have to put up with a lot of jerks in baseball. Once in a while we run into someone like O'Neil who reminds you about all the good things. A lot of people were angry that O'Neil wasn't among the Negro League players and leaders selected for the Hall of Fame this year. He fell one vote short, and it's a sign of his graciousness that he was on hand in Cooperstown to help induct the 16 men and one woman enshrined this summer.

It certainly would have been an honor for him to be included. But I don't think we're going to need a plaque to remember Buck O'Neil.

Godspeed, Buck!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We first met Buck on the golf course at Swope Memorial here in Kansas City about 15 years ago. Not long after, my wife was fortunate enough to sit next to Buck on a flight from Kansas City to Newark. Buck's engaging nature and zest for life in general drew her into working as a volunteer at the Negro Leagues Museum. I met Buck through her and am a better person because of it.

Buck O’Neil was an ambassador of good will for baseball, Kansas City, and the local black community. I am convinced that one of his greatest contributions, especially to Kansas City, was his polite but unflinching witness of the injustices he saw and experienced on road trips as a member of the Negro Leagues. He will be sorely missed here in Kansas City.

Bob Wilson BJ '63

Metstradamus said...

A travesty that he wasn't inducted into the hall of fame. Leave it to him to handle the snub with class.