July 19, 2006

BUCK 94:

O'Neil to play in minor league all-star game (AP, 7/18/06)

John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil never got a free pass in life.

The grandson of a man brought to this continent as a slave, O'Neil moved to Kansas City to avoid racial persecution in the Deep South and played baseball during an era of segregation.

It figures that on Tuesday night, when the 94-year-old steps into the batter's box during a minor league all-star game, nobody will quibble over an intentional walk.

Except maybe O'Neil.

"I just might take a swing at one," he said before Tuesday night's Northern League event. [...]

"I imagine the bat's a little heavier than that club I've been swinging," said O'Neil, who maintains he can still shoot his age in golf. "It's been a long time since I've picked up a bat."

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2006 12:12 AM

The Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame is in Kansas City and it is interesting and certainly something to see if one is a baseball fan. My only complaint is that it is not big enough (although it is a new facility). It shares the building with a Jazz Hall of Fame.

I saw the footage of Mr. O'Neil and he is in amazing shape for 94.

Posted by: pchuck at July 19, 2006 8:55 AM

He also belongs in the Hall of Fame. It is shameful that the committee that recently added several lesser lights from the Negro Leagues saw fit to leave him out.

As a player he appears to have been a Mark Grace type of player, a line drive hitter and excellent fielder. On his play alone he's probably a little short but his contributions beyond his playing days should seal the deal.

He would not be the first HOF member to make it on a combination of on-field and off-field accomplishments. Al Lopez and Monte Ward immediately come to mind.

Posted by: jeff at July 19, 2006 9:41 AM

Leave it to the Minor's to continue to show the world what baseball is really about.
I'll pay to watch an "A" team before a "double A" which I'd pay before a "triple A" which, since I'd never pay to see a "major", pretty much ends my involvement with baseball.
BTW, all was different for me prior to the Curt Flood free agency court rulings.

Posted by: Mike Daley at July 19, 2006 10:18 PM