August 07, 2006

Negro League Star & Baseball Ambassador Buck O'Neil Hospitalized

Even with its recent "one time only" selection of former Negro League stars to be inducted to the MLB HOF, Baseball should go further and make sure O'Neil is inducted. At the very least, they need to include him for his decades as an ambassador. And they need to do it before he can enjoy it.

Buck O'Neil hospitalized for fatigue; resting comfortably

Former Negro Leagues star Buck O'Neil was resting comfortably Monday after being hospitalized over the weekend.

The 94-year-old O'Neil was admitted to a hospital Saturday after complaining that he didn't feel well, said Bob Kendrick, a friend who also is marketing director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

"Mostly the doctors just wanted to be extra cautious with him," Kendrick said Monday. "They just wanted to slow him down a little."

Kendrick said O'Neil had been in good spirits and joking with hospital staff. He declined to say which hospital O'Neil was in, but said O'Neil appreciated all the concern.

"He's getting kind of antsy," Kendrick said with a laugh. "He's ready for them to turn him loose. But with a 94-year-old, you want to err on the side of overcaution."

O'Neil received a standing ovation last week before and after he spoke at the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremony when a class of 17 Negro Leagues players was enshrined. He received much support to be part of the group of inductees but fell short in the voting.

He also stepped into the batter's box during the Northern League All-Star game and received an intentional walk last month.

The Kansas City T-Bones signed O'Neil to a one-day contract, making him the oldest man ever to play professional baseball. He surpassed 83-year-old Jim Eriotes, who struck out in a minor league game in South Dakota earlier this month, by more than a decade.

Posted by ronn at August 7, 2006 07:46 PM

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