KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday, July 24, will be a special day for a former Kansas City Monarchs star. Buck O’Neil will finally be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“We could not be any more proud of Buck O’Neil’s accomplishment, and it’s about time he got into Cooperstown,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said.
And for the current Monarchs organization, they have another move that’s a no-brainer. The team will be retiring O’Neil’s no. 22 on July 27 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.
“His passion was making sure the kids in the community, everyone in the community remembered who we were and where we came from,” said Kim Randolph, CEO of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce.
Randolph’s family goes all the way back with the Hall of Fame inductee.
“My grandmother used to sit next to Buck at church, at Bethel AME Church,” Randolph said. “He was a kind person. If you had a chance to talk to him, he had a good story for you.”
And to see the Monarchs follow up O’Neil’s Hall of Fame induction with his number being retired means a lot to those that knew him.
“This is what we do. We support; we advocate,” Randolph said. “Buck is a legend, and this is something positive we can take back to our kids.”
It will also be Greek and HBCU Night, supporting the Divine Nine historically Black sororities and fraternities.
“He really believed in education, so this is to honor all the educational opportunities that are out there,” Brandmeyer said.
It will be a night of history for a man who left his mark on Kansas City, holding various roles with the Monarchs for nearly two decades. He later worked for the Royals as a scout and helped found the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, acting as chairman.
“It’s something that I get to say to my grandkids. They’re going to be there,” Randolph said. “This is history making. This will live forever.”
Type in the code DIVINE9 when buying tickets online. The local Greek chapter that sells the most tickets to the July 27 game gets to select a KC charity to receive a portion of ticket sales.