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PRESS BOX

T-Bones Celebrate Birthday of the Late Buck O’Neil

11/13/2007 2:55 PM -

Today, November 13th, marks the 96th birthday of the late Buck O’Neil.  The Kansas City and baseball legend passed away on October 6, 2006.  Mr. O’Neil’s impact on the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball, and the game itself was immeasurable.  His infectious enthusiasm for the game, especially at the independent league level, made him an icon among all baseball fans. 

He was a friend of the T-Bones and spent many evenings at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, taking in a game and talking baseball with fans.  O’Neil had a special appreciation for the Northern League and independent baseball because the Negro Leagues were the original independent baseball league.

His efforts and accomplishments were finally recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in late October, with the creation of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Award will honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, has broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil; he will also be the first recipient.  Along with the award, plans were announced to erect a statue in the Hall, placed in a prominent location.

"Buck touched every facet of baseball, and his impact was among the greatest the game has ever known," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Hall of Fame. "The Board recognizes this impact Buck had on millions of people, as he used baseball to teach lessons of life, love and respect. His contributions to the game go well beyond the playing field. This award will recognize future recipients who display the spirit Buck showed every day of his life."
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is planning to build the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center.  The Museum is hoping to raise $16 million to renovate and expand the historic Paseo YMCA, the future site of the Research and Education Center.  Before groundbreaking begins, the Museum hopes to raise 75-80 percent of its total goal.
“We still have a ways to go,” said Bob Kendrick, Director of Marketing and Promotions for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.  “There’s a sense of urgency here because nothing gets cheaper.”
For those interested, there are several convenient ways to make your tax-deductible donation for Buck’s Hall of Education. You can visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, right in Kansas City’s historic 18th & Vine district. You can also mail a check.

Checks should be made out to
“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum” and sent to:

The Buck O’Neil Research and Education Center
c/o Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
1616 East 18th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108  
For more information you can also visit www.nlbm.com.