Baseball Legend Buck O'Neil Dies at 94
Buck O'Neil, who had recently been hospitalized, released, and readmitted due to "fatigue", died today at 94. He was the perfect example of life being unfair. He was born black in America at a time when blacks weren't allowed to play in the "major leagues", so he played in the Negro Leagues, which many say at the time was the better league.
Buck was so good that even though he was batting .355 against the best black pitchers in the Negro Leagues, the owner named him to be manager of the team, so he had to play and manage, but Buck didn't care. He knew life wasn't fair and he knew it wasn't fair that some people had to work in factories or on farms and there he was "having" to play baseball and "manage" freewheelers like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.
Because life isn't fair Major League Baseball decided last year to form a committee to vote on 39 Negro League players, coaches, and owners for acceptance into the Hall of Fame. It was a simple yes or no vote for all 39, meaning all 39 could get in if enough people voted yes for each of them.
17 were voted in, but because life isn't fair Buck O'Neil wasn't one of them, despite being one of the top 10 Negro League players of all time, despite being Major League Baseball's first Black coach, despite being one of the most talented scouts in baseball -- helping the Cubs discover and sign Hall-of-Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and even Sammy Sosa.