July 31, 2006

Hall reaches out to honor a bygone era: Nothing can erase the injustice. In the end, it's that simple.

No ceremony, no honor, no speech can get back what was lost. We'll never really know how good the Negro Leaguers were because they weren't given a chance...

posted by justgary to baseball at 12:55 PM - 11 comments

That book might never be closed. It certainly won't be until Buck O'Neil, 94, is inducted. He was a player, yes, but his lasting contribution has come in the past four decades as an ambassador and spokesman and healer. He graciously served as the leadoff speaker, mixing humor and homespun wisdom with some gospel-style singing. To me it takes a special man to get snubbed as Mr. Oneil did and yet speak at the event. The man should be in not only for his years as a player but also for what he has done for baseball the last 75 years. The whole thing has been a long time coming. Too late for some unfortunately.

posted by scottypup at 01:32 PM on July 31, 2006

To me it takes a special man to get snubbed as Mr. Oneil did and yet speak at the event. Agreed. O'Neil: "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 justgary at 01:37 PM on July 31, 2006

Buck is very deserving of the honor, and in my opinion, is deserving of entry into The Hall itself. It was a joy to watch.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:39 PM on July 31, 2006

O'Neil teaching others about patience

posted by justgary at 01:44 PM on July 31, 2006

I heard an interview with Mr. Oneil once and he was acked if he was bitter about never getting to play in the Majors. He laughed and said "I've spent my entire life involved in a game that most men are through with by their teens. How could I be bitter spending my entire life doing what I love?"

posted by scottypup at 02:04 PM on July 31, 2006

Forget patience. O'Neil might be humble enough to not ask "Why?" But I don't see any good reason why he was not inducted. He didn't have to go in as a player. Kenesaw Landis made it in as a "Pioneer" as much as an ex-commisioner. O'Neil has accomplished more than enough for the Hall of Fame to add him to its ranks. Have any committee members had the decency to explain the reasoning not to include O'Neil?

posted by ?! at 03:10 PM on July 31, 2006

O'neil is a regional treasure to those in the Kansas City area. I wish the game appreciated him as much as he appreciated it.

posted by Tinman at 04:12 PM on July 31, 2006

I think the argument against O'Neil was that there are other players from his era who posted more impressive numbers than he did. However, O'Neil has been a tireless ambassador of baseball and has done more good for the game than many players with much better numbers. The question, then, is "is the Hall of Fame a validation of great statistics or a validation of a person's positive impact on Baseball?" I would argue that it should be the second.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:24 PM on July 31, 2006

More than players are in the Hall and O'Neil could have been elected for his off-the-field work. If they keep players out because of their off-the-field endeavors then they should put people in because of such endeavors.

posted by ?! at 08:21 PM on July 31, 2006

I don't think I like a Hall of Fame that doesn't want Buck O'Neil as a member. They should do it next year. No more waiting.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:41 PM on July 31, 2006

I can't hate a human being because my God never made anything ugly. If only more people could grasp this simple concept.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:14 AM on August 01, 2006

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