This is a short blog entry but it has to with one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors, former Negro Leaguer Joe “Buck” O’Neal. Though not celebrated as much as Jackie Robinson’s 1st game as a Brooklyn Dodger, breaking baseball’s color barrier, 50 years ago on this date, Buck O’Neal became the 1st black to be named a coach of a Major League team, a Chicago Cubs scout that helped brlng among others, Lou Brock and George Altman to the Northsiders. More about Buck’s time as a Cubs scout can be found here and here
The only downside in Buck being a Cubs scout was that he never was promoted to a base coach position let alone getting a shot as a manager and this reminds of this classic column written by Chicago Tribune Sports Columnist Mike Royko. Mike brings up some good points about the the post World War II Cubs inability to get in quicker on signing black baseball players and drain it too on the organization for years to come. I wonder Wwhat he’d thought of Buck O’Neil’s time as a Cubs scout. Probably along the lines of its a positive start but Buck should have a bigger role on the team.
But again today is Buck’s day where he made history and every time I think of him, not only his baseball knowledge comes to mind, his fun and witty thoughts come to mind:
“Never pass a girl in a red dress.”
-Joe “Buck” O’Neal
Best way to end a story about Buck right? Congrats sir on breaking the color line Major League coaching.