Buck O’Neil’s lasting legacy in Kansas City

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Come Friday, Buck O’Neil’s Hall of Fame plaque is coming to Kansas City. It will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and then at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday.

“He was a big advocate of the Hall of Fame,” said Raymond Doswell, Vice President of Curatorial Services at the Negro Leagues Museum.

Doswell, who personally knew O’Neil, said the honor is long overdue.

“I know that all those years ago, in ‘06 when he had the opportunity to be voted in, I know it was disappointing for him,” said Doswell. “I think it’s fair to say the Baseball Hall of Fame recognizes its unique place in the game and those people had the chance to vote for him a second time.”

Now, museum officials hope O’Neil’s honor will help bring home a new era of growth.

“We’re asking everyone to donate at least $1 and get a million friends to join us and get $1 million to help us complete the Buck O’Neil Research and Education Center,” said Doswell.

The hope is to raise $1 million to complete the renovation of the former Paseo YMCA, which was also the home of the Negro National League when it was first established back in 1920.

“It gives us the opportunity to expand our space so we can provide better services to local baseball enthusiasts, as well as educators and students around the country,” said Doswell.

It’s a center that will include event space and a library, that will help to tell the story of African American Baseball history. One never to be forgotten, just like the man who started it all: Buck O’Neil.

“We have that tie to the Black community’s history, as well as the broader national Black baseball story and so being able to preserve that is very important to us,” said Doswell.

The goal is to raise $1 million to complete the renovation of the museum by Nov. 13, which would have been O’Neil’s 111th birthday.