Wow! An amazing speech by an amazing man – Buck O’Neil. I heard it this morning for the first time.
The context only adds to it’s poignancy. In 2006 The Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown NY, admitted, for the first time, former Negro League players. 17 players were selected – but O’Neil, who was unquestionably qualified for the Hall, was not among those 17. (He missed the cut by 1 vote.) Instead, he was asked to offer the Induction speech. It exudes graciousness and wisdom. There is not one note of resentment or bitterness in O’Neil’s speech or tone. This makes his message even more powerful. (O’Neil was finally admitted to the HOF in 2021 – 15 years after his death.)
Take a moment to watch. (Run Time: 7minutes)