KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City legend Buck O’Neil is up for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Announced by the Hall of Fame Friday, seven Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues legends and three American League/National League starts make up the 10-name ballot.
O’Neil was last considered in 2006, where many believe he was snubbed of the honor.
“We all missed was the opportunity to hi-five with our guy, to hug, chest bump, to celebrate with our guy. We didn’t have a chance to do that. For me, I had kind of written it off. It was what it was, and we were going to be content with the recognition that had come his way,” said President of the Negro League Museum, Bob Kendrick.
The year 2006 was the same year O’Neil died and he was also he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.
He was also honored with honored with the Hall of Fame Buck O’ Neil lifetime achievement award.
He’s also the only player to have to life size statue inside the Baseball HOF Museum in Cooperstown.
“I have to give credit to the legion of fans, who for the last 15 years they’ve been beating that drum continuously, professing their belief that he belongs there,” Kendrick said. “When we look at really the totality of Buck’s career, seven decades in this sport, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who had greater impact on our game than Buck O’Neil.”
A few of O’Neil’s notable accomplishments include a player for the Kansas City Monarchs and Memphis Red Sox.
He also was a manger for the Monarchs, the first black coach in major league baseball history, and a scout, who discovered some of baseball’s biggest names.
At the time of his death, O’ Neil was hailed as baseball’s greatest ambassadors.
“When we look at really the totality of Buck’s career, seven decades in this sport, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who had greater impact on our game than Buck O’Neil,” Kendrick. “I think he’d be pleased to know there are so many that love him and believe in his contributions to this sport and that it deserves baseball’s highest honor.”
The other names on the list include, Bill Dahlen, John Donaldson, Bud Fowler, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Lefty O’Doul, Dick “Cannonball” Redding, Allie Reynolds and George “Tubby” Scales.
We’ll find out who will join baseball’s greatest a December 5.