Buck O’Neil, one of the many faces of the Negro Leagues, was born today

On November 13, 1911, the legendary Buck O’ Neill was born. The MLB Hall of Famer,
who for decades was synonymous with the long-lasting impact and legacy of the Negro Leagues in
America also had successful stints in the Winter Leagues of México with Obregon and Cuba, with
Almendares. Although keeping up with the records of the Negro Leagues has proved challenging over
the years, official records credit O’Neill with leading the NAL in at-bats, total bases, doubles, and RBI in
1940-41. He is also recognized as a 2-time Negro League All-Star in 1942 and 1943, as well as the league
leader in walks in 1938 and 1946. He also won the Negro League World Series with the Kansas City
Monarchs in 1942, as well as the NAL Pennant in 1948.

O’Neill made history in 1962 when he was hired by the Chicago Cubs, the team that hired him as
a scout in 1955 as the first African-American coach in MLB history. In 1988, O’Neill went to work for
the Kansas City Royals as a scout, and it was during this time in this city that he was instrumental in
the construction of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. For his contributions on and off the field as an
ambassador of the Negro Leagues and his historic achievements among the African American
community, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2006, and he was
inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2022 as part of a special committee
that would give him his overdue election.

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