KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday is the culmination of a long road for Negro League Historian Phil Dixon, who’s just coming off writing a book about the legendary Buck O’Neil as he gets set to head to Cooperstown to watch a dear friend get inducted with baseball’s greats.

“It took us four hours to do 1938 and we were so exhausted we never did 1939, 1940,” Dixon said.

“Finding new ways to deliver the history is a way to get people more involved. Buck O’Neil even all these years, he’s involved in a project that’s still breaking barriers,” he continued. “Without people like Buck O’Neil I wouldn’t be here now.”

Because of Buck, Dixon worked with the Royals and was in the incorporation papers of the Negro League Museum.

“To see Buck come from where he was to where he stands now, I’ve got to go to Cooperstown, I’ve got to keep telling his story,” Dixon said.

A story of a man that started out picking celery and playing baseball for 10 bucks a week in Sarasota, to enjoying the Monarchs, education and music.

“When you begin to talk about the Big Bands, Buck, he would come alive,” Dixon said. “Because these are people that he knew and he would meet in his travels as a baseball player. I began to talk about what he loved.”

And now as the weekend comes, Dixon’s interactions with the legendary O’Neil will pay off with a Hall of Fame Induction, joining the likes of other Monarchs like Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson.. the long fight to see O’Neil’s name in Cooperstown has a conclusion.

“He would find this quite fascinating, being a box boy from Sarasota to the Hall of Fame with his teammates.”

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