Bronzed Heroes – John ‘Buck’ O’Neil
I really wanted to use this one as my second card in the set. From the day I first saw Ken Burns Baseball I loved listening to Buck O’Neil. Buck just talked about baseball in a way that made you love it as much as he did. I would try and catch him on any show he was on. A few Roy Firestone shows come to mind right away. I really wanted to meet him when I made my first trip to the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame in Kansas City. After talking to the woman about him in the gift shop she took the baseballs I had just bought to the back room, and they came back signed. Maybe he had some back there already signed to give to customers. I would like to think that she took them back there, and Buck signed them for me. That is the much better memory.
This statue is located at the Baseball Hall of Fame. They dropped the ball on getting him in even though the committee was set up it seemed like to do so. They quickly named an award after him though, and got him a nice statue. The guys I went with seemed to enjoy how happy I was to see the statue. A very nice bronze image of Buck is at the Negro League Hall of Fame, and I don’t have a good picture of it. I might have to make a special trip to Kansas City this summer to get one.