Induct Buck O'Neil in the National Baseball Hall of Fame

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Buck O’Neil became famous across America after appearing on Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary. But his greatness was best seen, perhaps, when he was the voice for 17 of his friends at their induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Buck was a first baseman and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. He led the league with a .353 batting average in 1946, played in 3 All-Star games, and won one Negro Leagues World Series. Buck was instrumental in helping several black players succeed in the major leagues, including connecting Elston Howard with the New York Yankees.

Buck was the first black coach in the major leagues, working with the Chicago Cubs in 1962. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in downtown Kansas City in 1990. His faithful presence behind home plate at Royals / Kauffman Stadium is remembered with a red seat, honoring a local citizen who devotes time and energy in giving back to the community.

After serving as one of the greatest ambassadors the game has ever known, Buck O’Neil was denied his induction into the Hall of Fame. Although a statue of Buck stands near the entrance to the museum and The Lifetime Achievement Award bears his name, it is time for this classy and generous gentleman to be honored with a plaque in the Gallery at Cooperstown.

Buck was denied an opportunity to play ball in major leagues by those who judged others based on the color of the skin God painted them in. Nevertheless, he maintained a contagious positive attitude in the face of brutal prejudice. His presence in the Hall would be a fitting tribute to the man who always chose to see the best in other people.