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  • Buck O'Neil

    Apparantly a lot of people are upset that Buck O'Neil was not selected to the Hall of fame.

    Article here

    Within hours of Monday's announcement, the director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum had heard from Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Lou Brock.

    "They were like the rest of us; they couldn't believe what had just happened," Don Motley said. "My e-mail bogged down from people all over the country raising hell. They're as shocked as we are at the exclusion of Buck."

    Outrage over O'Neil's exclusion was heard Wednesday in Congress. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, said the surprising vote had left "a community in tears."

    "Buck O'Neil is a man who has done more than anyone to popularize and keep alive the history of the Negro leagues," Cleaver said in a prepared text of remarks made on the House floor. "The fact that he was not voted into baseball's Hall of Fame is a wrong that only Major League Baseball can make right.

    "This humble man who has never slighted anyone has been slighted - apparently by a single vote - by a group who looked shortsightedly at his batting average, but not at what he has done for the game of baseball."

  • #2
    Yeah..no kidding.

    Idiots abound in Cooperstown.

    Apparently, class acts are not wanted.
    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
    Carl Yastrzemski

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    • #3
      I think the fact that Buck did not make it is horrible.
      He had a great career in the Negro League, player and manager, and his whole life has been as a devotee and ambassador for baseball.
      Cooperstown, wake up and do the right thing!!
      1968 and 1984, the greatest ever.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tigerfan1974
        I think the fact that Buck did not make it is horrible.
        He had a great career in the Negro League, player and manager, and his whole life has been as a devotee and ambassador for baseball.
        Cooperstown, wake up and do the right thing!!
        He did not have a great career as a player and manager. He had a good career as a player and a manager. He certainly was nowhere near as good as the other recent selections, like Torriente or Mackey. He might be comparable to Candy Jim Taylor as a player and manager, but I might rank Taylor higher and Taylor wasn't elected either (nor is there an outcry over this fact). O'Neil was a great ambassador for baseball and a charismatic guy. That doesn't make him a Hall-of-Famer, or else Chet Brewer should go in. And Fresco Thompson. And Lefty O'Doul. And Dave Roberts.

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        • #5
          ...and who said Cooperstown was reserved for just players and managers?

          I seem to recall executives, pioneers, umpires, writers and announcers being part of it as well. Athough Spink and Frick Award winners aren't technically "inducted", they're still part of the induction ceremonies. This was supposedly a special ballot where Negro Leaguers were to be considered in any phase of the game. Am I mistaken?

          I can go along with Minoso not being elected--it'd be better in the long run if the Vet's Committee gets him in--but I can't come up with a good reason for why several members left O'Neill off the ballot. They could make a new class called "ambassador" and let him in if need be.
          http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

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          • #6
            Buck was up as a "contributor" not as a player. I could live with him not being elected until they decided 17 other people were worthy. Simply incomprehensible.

            As for Minoso, this was his last best chance. The VC is incapable of electing anybody under its current structure.
            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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            • #7
              Buck O'Neil IMO is borderline. He isn't within a mile as a player, isn't within a mile as a manager. Even combining the two he's not within a mile. Combining the two he's still a long way away. Adding in his other contributions as the "Voice of the Negro Leagues", he rises above White, and may have just reached HOF status. Either way I think it's really close and I'm not particularly upset about him not making it. Maybe it's better off he didn't make it because then people would be calling him a great player, which he certainly wasn't. He was probably comparable to a Negro League Bill White, not really anyone's idea of a HOFer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 538280
                Buck O'Neil IMO is borderline. He isn't within a mile as a player, isn't within a mile as a manager. Even combining the two he's not within a mile. Combining the two he's still a long way away. Adding in his other contributions as the "Voice of the Negro Leagues", he rises above White, and may have just reached HOF status. Either way I think it's really close and I'm not particularly upset about him not making it. Maybe it's better off he didn't make it because then people would be calling him a great player, which he certainly wasn't. He was probably comparable to a Negro League Bill White, not really anyone's idea of a HOFer.
                He's been "visible" over the years, so now everyone thinks it's an outrage that he's not in, whatever. It's amazing to me that some people can argue FOR Buck O'Neil, yet AGAINST Frank Thomas. Put him in the National Embassadors HOF, but not the baseball edition.
                I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!

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                • #9
                  The fact that so many younger players, fans, writers, coaches & executives have actually seen him in person, read interviews with him, or spoken direcly to him is behind the outrage. I do wish people would stop saying that he was simply a great link to the Negro leagues. I've learned a lot about all-white baseball from him as well. We have so few direct witnesses that go as far back as he does. When he compares the first time he heard a batted ball off of Ruth's bat with the 1st times he heard Josh Gibson & Mark McGwire make solid contact, you can believe him. I don't know that that makes him a Hall of Famer, but it does make him an invaluable part of baseball's oral history. The one thing that I believe could have put him over the top was that he was the first African-American coach in MLB. That groundbreaking distinction should mean something when partnered with the rest of his baseball life. That was a big deal. I would have voted for him as a contributor. I obviously didn't have access to all of the info that the panel had. Maybe that would have changed my mind. I can't do anything but wonder.

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                  • #10
                    I think Buck done a whole lot more than just be "visible" in recent years. Organizing the Negro League Hall of Fame is a significant contribution to the game, in my mind. He has brought to light the accomplishments of Negro Leaguers to a greater degree than probably any other person. He helped mold the talent of many major league and negro league players who are in the HOF. I agree that as a player or manager, he probably came up short. But as a contributor, I think he has the credentials.

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                    • #11
                      Here is a good article from the Kansas City Star, up for a limited time.

                      http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/14019835.htm

                      I had some comments about it, but man, I don't know where to begin; so I will leave it to you.
                      "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                      --Bob Feller

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                      • #12
                        All of the 17 that were elected are dead. Two qualified people who are still alive were denied (Minoso and O'Neill). How great would it have been to have seen one of them up at the podium to fully appreciate the honor?

                        I watched the football HOF ceremony last year and they elected a black pioneer that passed away. They had a distant relative receive the award on his behalf. It doesn't have nearly the same feeling when the person elected is dead. I am not saying that athletes that have died shouldn't be elected but if at all possible elect them when they are alive.

                        I would hate to see Ron Santo elected 20 years from now when he's dead when he could have gone up to the podium in his wheelchair and fully appreciated the honor.
                        Last edited by Bench 5; 03-06-2006, 03:41 PM.
                        "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

                        Rogers Hornsby, 1961

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                        • #13
                          Buck O'Neil

                          In this week's issue of TSN, Dave Kindred comments that "Cooperstown's dunderheaded committee elected 17 players and executives, nearly doubling the Negro Leagues' representation in the Hall."
                          Only nine of the 17 (according to some Negro League historians) are worthy.

                          And yet, in this "last chance" for Negro league leaders, Buck O'Neil was passed over.
                          Do you agree that Buck O'Neil belongs?
                          Last edited by Appling; 03-26-2006, 01:57 PM.
                          Luke

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                          • #14
                            Of Couse Buck belongs in the HOF. He was the first black coach and scouter in the majors. His career numbers may not be as good as others although he missed 5 seasons to WWII. But he has been one of the only people to promote the negro leaugues leagacy over the years helping build muesumes and such. A very important contributer to the Negro leaugues. I think that eventually he will get in but it is dissapointing that he probably wont get in while he is alive.
                            go sox.

                            Pigskin-Fever

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                            • #15
                              When I read his autobiography I was surprised to hear that he himself doesn't think he belonged in the Hall of Fame. He didn't precisely say if it was as a player or if it was for what he brought to baseball as the first black scout, but he seemed to say that he wasn't a good enough player to get into the Hall Of Fame.

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