Buck O’Neil, a batting champion in the Negro Leagues before becoming the first black to serve as a major league coach, has died. He was 94.
The beloved national figure as the unofficial goodwill spokesman for the Negro Leagues died Friday night in a Kansas City hospital, eight months after he fell one vote short of the Hall of Fame.
As a Cubs fan, I have to point out that he was the first black coach in the major leagues, a bench coach for the Cubs. It remains obscure why the Hall of Fame didn’t select him, a barrier breaker, a pennant winning manager, and winner of two Negro League batting titles. He was a giant in KC, and will be missed.
As a side note, the Cubs fan in me is glad to see the Tigers whup the Yanks. If there’s hope for the Tigers, there must be hope for my Cubbies.