Quote of the day

Don’t shed any tears. You think about this. Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We’ve come a long ways.

~Buck O’Neil

Buck O'Neil
Buck O’Neil with the Kansas City Monarchs (public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

NLBM Panel: A Tribute To Buck O’Neil

In case you missed it, a couple nights ago, the Bob Kendrick and the Negro Leagues Museum hosted a virtual panel featuring Ken Burns, Bob Costas, Joe Posnanski, and CC Sabathia. These gentlemen talked primarily about Buck O’Neil, telling stories about when they first met O’Neil and what he was like as a person. They also talked about Jackie Robinson, the Negro Leagues, the breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and blacks in baseball today.

A recording of the stream can be found on YouTube and is definitely worth a listen if you enjoy hearing stories about baseball.

Buck O’Neil on Ty Cobb

I vaguely recall hearing a reference to Buck O’Neil’s thoughts on Ty Cobb at some point, but this might be the first time I’ve ever seen this interview. My hat’s off to Buck — I don’t think I could be nearly so forgiving and compassionate if it were me in his shoes. I’m so glad this man is finally going to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Results from the Hall of Fame Selection Ceremonies are in, and a total of six new members will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.

The Golden Days Era Committee voted in the following new members:

  • Gil Hodges
  • Jim Kaat
  • Minnie Miñoso
  • Tony Oliva

The Early Baseball Era Committee has elected the following new members:

  • Bud Fowler
  • Buck O’Neil

Congrats to these players and to their families!

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Hall of Fame Selection Ceremonies

For anyone who is interested, this afternoon, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will be live streaming the Hall of Fame Selection Ceremonies, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Central Time. The ceremonies will reveal results of the Early Baseball Era and Golden Days Era Committees vote, and of notable consideration for the Hall of Fame is the great Buck O’Neil.

The event will be streamed via NLBM’s Facebook here.

You can find additional information from the Kansas City Star here.

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Remembering Buck O’Neil, NLBM livestream

If you need something to do on Friday, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will be hosting a conversation between Bob Costas, Joe Posnanski, Bob Kendrick, and Ken Burns in celebration of the great Buck O’Neil. This Friday, November 13th would have been Buck’s 109th birthday, and it sounds like the plan is for this group of speakers to share their memories and stories about the man, the ballplayer, the legend.

The even will begin at 12:30 pm Central Time on Friday. It can be streamed via NLBM’s YouTube page or their Facebook page.

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Quote of the day

Depending on how he gripped the ball and how hard he threw it, Satchel Paige had pitches that included the bat-dodger, the two-hump blooper, the four-day creeper, the dipsy-do, the Little Tom, the Long Tom, the bee ball, the wobbly ball, the hurry-up ball and the nothin’ ball.

~Buck O’Neil

Buck O'Neil
Wikipedia

Pride and Perseverance

This weekend I watched a short documentary produced by Major League Baseball,  Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues.  While the time period covered in the documentary spans from Moses Fleetwood Walker playing major league ball in the 1880s on up to the induction of Negro League players into the Baseball Hall of Fame starting in 1971, the documentary focuses primarily on the story of the Negro Leagues.Pride and Perseverance

Dave Winfield narrates the documentary, and it includes footage from Negro League games, as well as some Major League games.  It also features interviews with Negro Leagues players, including Buck O’Neil, Bob Mitchell, Willie Mays, John “Mule” Miles, Cool Papa Bell, and Ted Radcliffe.  The interviews highlight just how good many Negro Leagues players really were, especially compared to white Major Leaguers, and it’s a lot of fun to see how much these guys light up when they talk about the level of talent.

The documentary touches on the racial struggles faced by black players.  For example, many players accepted the fact that they would have to go around to the backs of restaurants to get food, and it was not uncommon to sleep on the bus because the hotels in a given town would not give them rooms.  Nevertheless, the players talk about how much fun they had traveling and playing ball.  The eventual recruitment of Jackie Robinson by Branch Rickey to break the color barrier, of course, receives due attention.

Overall, Pride and Perseverance is a fantastic overview of the history of the Negro Leagues.  For a documentary that runs less than an hour long, it manages to cram a lot of interesting information into the film.  It’s definitely worth checking out.