Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Buck The World
"If I'm a Hall of Famer for you, that's all right with me."-Buck O'Neil
Just over a year after his death, the Baseball Hall of Fame finally honored Buck O'Neil with a long overdue spot. O'Neil, one of the Negro Leagues' biggest stars and the first Black coach in the Major Leagues fell short by two votes when he was up for special induction in February 2006. He fell short of induction into the HOF despite the fact he played in four East-West All-Star games and two Negro League World Series. He fell short despite the fact he Kansas City Monarchs to two league titles. He fell short despite the fact that he helped establish the Negro League Hall of Fame. He fell short despite the fact that throughout his career, he was one of the classiest and most endeared embassadors for the ENTIRE sport of Baseball...PERIOD.
His posthemous induction into the hall is not the first honor O'Neil has recieved after his death, he also recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2006. The Baseball HOF will also honor O'Neil by erecting a statue of him inside the museum, and creating a Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented to a worthy recipient no more than every three years.
Here is a link to a July 2006 speech that Buck gave at one of his last public appearances, the induction ceremony for the Negro League Baseball players who were voted into the Baseball HOF. The ceremony he was left out of.