the baseball hall of fame recently announced their final inductees of negro league ballplayers, and buck o'neil was not one of them. and that is just completely amazing.
beyond spending fifty years in the game, beyond being the first black to coach in the major leagues, beyond getting the negro leagues museum up and running, beyond arguing tirelessly for getting negro leaguers to be inducted into the hall of fame, beyond playing and managing for half his life, beyond discovering lou brock and ernie banks as a ascout, and beyond being the voice and face of negro league baseball from his amazing storytelling on ken burns' "baseball" documentary, the experts didn't vote him in.
if not buck o'neil, then how can you vote in anyone else?
you would think that news like that would be devastating to a 94-year-old man.
"God's been good to me. You can see that, can't you? It didn't happen. They didn't think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. That's the way they thought about it and that's the way it is, so we're going to live with that. Now, if I'm a hall-of-famer for you, that's all right with me. Just keep loving old Buck.
"Don't shed any tears 'cause I'm not going to the Hall of Fame.''
"You think about this,'' he said. "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. Before, we never even thought about anything like that. America, you've really grown and you're still growing.''
he also said that he would be honored to give a speech for all the deceased members of the hall of fame class.
you know, buck o'neil doesn't need the baseball hall of fame.
it doesn't deserve someone of his caliber.