The next time Goose Gossage fails to make the Baseball Hall Of Fame, Harry Carson is asked about his longtime Canton snub or Kanye West gets stiffed for some lame trophy, consider the way Buck O’Neal reacted yesterday to the news that he wasn’t amongst the 17 Negro Leagues alumni inducted into Cooperstown. (From the Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger and Jeff Passan).
œShed no tears for Buck, he said. œNo, no. Ol™ God™s been good to me. You can see that, don™t you? If I™m a Hall of Famer for you, that™s all I need. Just keep loving ol™ Buck.
O™Neil put a happy spin on the day, just like always. There was no disappointment, no how-could-they-leave-me-out talk. He focused more on how far America has come, that the grandson of a slave was given a fair chance at the national pastime™s highest honor.
He said not being elected didn™t hurt nearly as much as the real disappointments in his life, like when he was denied attendance at his local segregated high school in Florida. There will be no bitterness from O™Neil, only smiles.
œThis won™t stop me, he said. œI™ve got a whole lot to live for. It would have been ˜Buck O™Neil, Hall of Famer.™ Now it™s just ˜Buck O™Neil,™ which is all right. Or how about ˜Buck O™Neil, humanitarian™? That sounds better anyway.