Buck O’Neil Played Yesterday

20 Jul

He has lived for 94 years, was the grandson of a slave, barnstormed with the likes of Satchel Paige in 1934, first played professionally for the Memphis Red Sox in the Negro American League in 1937, later became a scout and coach in the MLB, and helped to get several Negro League players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a pretty good player, a good scout, and by most accounts a good guy. And most recently he played in the Northern League all-star game, leading off for both sides and ‘drawing’ two intentional walks. Though I’m not exactly the sentimental type when it comes to sports, I still appreciate a good gesture now and then, and this was a good one.

It’s uncertain if he actually is the oldest player ever, though, because a similar stunt was done about 10 years ago with Ted Radcliffe…who was supposedly 96 years old at the time. No doubt baseball historians will have a ball with this one.

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