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Buck O'Neil has passed


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Former Negro Leaguer O'Neil dies

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Buck O'Neil, baseball's charismatic Negro Leagues ambassador who barnstormed with Satchel Paige and inexplicably fell one vote shy of the Hall of Fame, died Friday night. He was 94.

Bob Kendrick, marketing director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said O'Neil died at a Kansas City hospital.

O'Neil had appeared strong until early August, when he was hospitalized for what was described as "fatigue." He was released a few days later but readmitted on Sept. 17. Friends said that he had lost his voice along with his strength. No cause of death was immediately given.

Always projecting warmth, wit and a sunny optimism that sometimes seemed surprising for a man who lived in a climate of racial injustice for so long, O'Neil remained remarkably vigorous well into his 90s. He became as big a star as the Negro League greats whose stories he traveled the country to tell.

He would be in New York taping the "Late Show With David Letterman" one day and then back home on the golf course the next day shooting his age, a feat he first accomplished at 75.

"But it's not a good score any more," he quipped on his 90th birthday.

O'Neil had long been popular in Kansas City, but he rocketed into national stardom in 1994 when filmmaker Ken Burns featured him in his groundbreaking Public Broadcasting Service documentary "Baseball."

The rest of the country then came to appreciate the charming Negro Leagues historian as only baseball insiders had before. He may have been, as he joked, "an overnight sensation at 82," but his popularity continued to grow for the rest of his life.

Few men in any sport have witnessed the grand panoramic sweep of history that O'Neil saw and felt and experienced in baseball. A good-hitting, slick-fielding first baseman, he barnstormed with Paige in his youth, twice won a Negro Leagues batting title and then became a pennant-winning manager of the Kansas City Monarchs.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2615960

RIP.

One of the true gems of the game.

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WHAT ????

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

DAMN :censored:ING MLB NOT PUTTING HIM IN THE HOF WITH THE REST OF THE NEGRO LEAGUERS THIS YEAR DAMN IT!!!! :cursing::cursing::cursing:

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Damn shame he didnt make the hall before he died. Damn shame.

Somehow I knew he wouldn't get elected until the year after he passed. The HOF Committee ought to be ashamed of themselves. He's done so much for the sport, his death shouldn't be what makes people realize it.
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Damn shame he didnt make the hall before he died. Damn shame.

Somehow I knew he wouldn't get elected until the year after he passed. The HOF Committee ought to be ashamed of themselves. He's done so much for the sport, his death shouldn't be what makes people realize it.

Couldn't agree more about what a travesty it is that he wasn't elected.

May he rest in peace.

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Here is a quote after he was not elected to the HOF, to his fans.

"Shed no tears for Buck," he told them. "I couldn't attend Sarasota High School. That hurt. I couldn't attend the University of Florida. That hurt. But not going into the Hall of Fame, that ain't going to hurt me that much, no."

Great Player, Great Man

RIP Buck

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Damn. I mean damn.

Why should anyone be surprised when a 94 year old man passes away? Well, because this wasn't the average 94 year old man. This was John O'Neil. This was Buck. This was a guy that was full of life, full of enough passion about the game he loved and the greatness of that game to fill another 94 years. Buck was a shining beacon of hope in a dark, dank world. He was a knightly figure, giving a grace and a elegance to the memory of the Negro Baseball Leagues. While we though of the racism, the bigotry, the discrimination of it all; he thought of the game, the strategy, and the joy. Oh, what a grand, grand man. He shall be missed, his spirit shall be missed, and his passion shall be missed.

Go join Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, and Satchel Paige. Go join Jackie Robinson. You are home now, Buck. Your body is at rest, but your soul lives on. We will miss you, but we certainly will not forget you and your lessons of hope, love, and baseball. Rest in peace.

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RIP to one of the greatest ambassadors baseball had. One thing I always liked about him was his absolute integrity he displayed when he spoke of playing in the Negro Leagues. He was never bitter even though he had so much to be bitter about, and that, to me, is the epitome of class.

He was also never displayed that "well in my day, we didn't do things that way" kind of attitude that other baseball vets (cough*Tim McCarver*cough) often beat us current fans to death with. Just the personification of a man who loved baseball, and was classy til the very end.

May God rest his soul.

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Damn shame he didnt make the hall before he died. Damn shame.

I agree with you. Buck deserved too much being a living member of the HOF. The responsibles of that HOF Committee can go inside that anatomical hole that every human being has.

Don't weep, my pals. Buck surely didn't like you crying about his death. He was pure life and pure baseball with his irradiant smile... man, he was larger than life!!!

So long Mr Buck O'Neil! You can play again with Cool Papa Bell, Gibson, Leonard, Satchel... and of course, Heaven hasn't segregation, so you can play with the Babe, Lou and Ted. :)

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Damn. I mean damn.

Why should anyone be surprised when a 94 year old man passes away? Well, because this wasn't the average 94 year old man. This was John O'Neil. This was Buck. This was a guy that was full of life, full of enough passion about the game he loved and the greatness of that game to fill another 94 years. Buck was a shining beacon of hope in a dark, dank world. He was a knightly figure, giving a grace and a elegance to the memory of the Negro Baseball Leagues. While we though of the racism, the bigotry, the discrimination of it all; he thought of the game, the strategy, and the joy. Oh, what a grand, grand man. He shall be missed, his spirit shall be missed, and his passion shall be missed.

Go join Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, and Satchel Paige. Go join Jackie Robinson. You are home now, Buck. Your body is at rest, but your soul lives on. We will miss you, but we certainly will not forget you and your lessons of hope, love, and baseball. Rest in peace.

Well he didnt seem like he was 94 he was still razor sharp and knew the stories like they happened the day before.

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SAY WHAT!?!? Damn. Just damn. He should have been selected to be in the HOF last year. He should have been elected before he died. He seemed like an amazing guy though. He did play in an all-star game last year. What a great ambassador for the game of baseball

RIP Buck.

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Truly one of the best human beings going. It's too bad they couldn't get him the vote or two he needed to get into the Hall of Fame. He did a great service for all of the Negro Leagues and the legends who played there. RIP Buck.

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