100 years ago today, Buck O’Neil was born. O’Neil was the 1st African-American coach in Major League Baseball, following a distinguished career as a 1st baseman & manager for the Kansas City Monarchs in baseball’s Negro League.
Sadly, O’Neil was never inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, despite serving for 18 years on the Hall’s veterans committee.
But he has been recognized for his accomplishments on & off the field. In 2006, President Bush awarded O’Neil the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He was also the 1st recipient of MLB’s Beacon of Life Award in 2007.
Kaufmann Stadium (home of the Kansas City Royals) features a single red seat known as the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat.
O’Neil died in 2006 at 94.