Pour Out A Little Liquor…
On Friday October 6, Buck O'Neil, legendary Negroe League batting champion and the first
African-American assigned to a coaching position in Major League Baseball, died. He was 94.
O'Neil, who played with the Kansas City Monarchs, was considered by many to be the ambassador of the Negroe Leagues, even after the Chicago Cubs made O'Neil the first black coach of a major league team in 1962.Born in Florida on November 11, 1911, O'Neil practically spent his whole life on a baseball field. This past July, he batted and walked twice in a minor league All-Star contest, thus becoming the oldest man ever to appear in a professional baseball game.
Unfortunately, the one significant achievement O'Neil was unable to attain in his amazing career was the honor of an induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In February 2006, O'Neil missed the Hall's equired three-fourth votes by one. But when asked if he felt snubbed by the committee, Buck O'Neil remained positive and grateful for all baseball had given him.
"Not going into the Hall of Fame, that ain't going to hurt me that much, no," he said. "Before, I wouldn't even have a chance. But this time I had that chance. Just keep loving old Buck."