August 1, 2006

SEE NO UGLY (via Mike Daley):

O'Neil sets the tone at Hall of Fame (Bill Madden, 7/31/06, New York Daily News)

Baseball's dual celebration of the Negro Leagues and a prototype old-school closer with a revolutionary pitch began most appropriately Sunday, with 94-year-old Buck O'Neil imploring everyone to hold hands and join together in a song about loving one another.

It was that kind of a day at the Hall of Fame's largest induction in history, a love fest among the relatives of 17 former Negro Leaguers and black baseball pioneers and Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark, and later with Bruce Sutter and his former teammates - with nary a word or intimation about steroids, which figures to be the signature topic of next year's election, when Mark McGwire comes on the ballot.

And it figured that O'Neil, the game's most beloved goodwill ambassador who nevertheless was left behind when the special 12-person committee of historians made its Hall selections designed to close the book on the Negro Leagues, would set the tone for the afternoon.

"I never learned to hate anybody," O'Neil said. "I hate cancer. It killed my mother and it killed my wife 10 years ago - I'm single, ladies. And I hate AIDS `cause it's killed so many people. But I can't hate a human being because my God never made anything ugly."

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 1, 2006 5:06 PM

Has he been awarded the Medal of Freedom yet?

Posted by: GER at August 1, 2006 5:24 PM