My Father in Law has done a lot of work at the Negro Leagues Museum, helping develop some of their educational curriculum. Through that work, he introduced me to Buck O’Neil, former player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs.
Buck died last night at age 94. He was full of life and vigor, all his days. He was a major presence in Kansas City, not just in the baseball communities (this season he became the oldest professional baseball player when the Kansas City T-Bones signed him to a one-day contract. He was on ads for James B. Nutter mortgages. He ate at the Peachtree at 18th and Vine, often with an entourage).
We’ll miss him. From the KC Star:
John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil | 1911-2006
A KC legend dies
Baseball icon “lived a full life” as he came to symbolize the glory of the Negro Leagues.
The Kansas City Star
In a Lincoln Town Car on the way home from a funeral, Buck O’Neil said: “I don’t want people to be sad when I die. I’ve lived a full life. Be sad for the kids who die.”
So this will not be a sad column, I hope.
Buck O’Neil died Friday after a prolonged stay in a Kansas City hospital. He was 94 years old, almost 95. He lived a life for the ages. Buck used to say he had done it all — he hit the home run, he hit for the cycle, he traveled the world, he testified before Congress, he sang at the Baseball Hall of Fame, he made a hole-in-one in golf, he married the woman he loved, he shook hands with American presidents.