Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If you ever had the pleasure of listening to a Buck O’Neil interview then you know how great he was. Warm, compassionate, and with a phenomenal memory, he was a fount of fascinating stories of playing baseball at a time and place where black players were thought of as lesser people and relegated exclusively to the Negro Leagues.
Â Â Â It was a sad time in our countries’ history when racism was institutionalized even in our sports leagues. Yet somehow Buck came through it without becoming bitter or full of regrets.
Â Â Â It is sad news that he passed away. It is almost as sad that he is a little blurb, then the writer gets back to “important stuff” like noting Selig’s reaction to the improvement of a couple teams or the end of a playoff series.
Â Â Â Buck contributed greatly to the history of baseball and it says a lot about the residue of racism that he is not in the baseball Hall of Fame. If ever there was a guy who deserved better recognition both in life and death it was Buck O’Neil.