I had purchased the book “The Soul of Baseball. A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s america” some time ago but only recently I started reading it. I knew about the book from other friends that have read it before so it came highly recommended.
Like so many people, I had seen Buck O’Neil from Ken Burns Documentary series titled “Baseball.” Buck O’Neil captivated me there. I fell in love with his humanity, his humbleness, his positive attiture, his passion for the game and his devotion supporting the Negro League museum making sure that we did not forget the contribution by the Negro Leagues players. His voice made me feel that all was OK with the world.
Reading Joe Posnanski’s book traveling for more than a year with Mr. O’Neil was like taking a ride with them. It brought me joy, some laughs but also some tears. Mr. O’Neil was 93 when Joe Posnanski traveled with him. Buck had a lot of energy. He was truly an inspiring person. You can’t help but feel his positive attitude.
Buck O’Neil’s quotes when he did not make it into the HOf:
“Don’t shed any tears. You think about this: Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We’ve come a long ways.”
I regret that I did get to shake Buck O’Neil’s hand. I would have worn a red dress in his honor (mind you, I don’t like to wear red).
In New York, Buck had told Joe “Son, in this life, you never walk by a red dress.”
Joe Posnanski quote on his interpretation of this quote “I think Buck meant that we should never pass up the opportunity to live life. We should not rush by the red dresses, the baseball games, the street musicians, or the sweet smell of dessert. We should not stifle or smother our craziest dreams.”
Buck O’Neil when he was the starting first baseman of the 1946-47 Almendares team that swept Habana, Cuba.