I would highly recommend reading “The Soul of Baseball” by Joe Posnanski. It is one of my favorite baseball biographies and it is about Buck O’Neil. While a solid baseball player it was what Buck did as an ambassador for the Negro Leagues (and consequently for baseball itself) that makes him a hall of famer. He was one of those guys who did a lot behind the scenes for baseball who finally got the recognition he deserved after he passed away.
As a scout he scouted a lot of future major leaguers for the Cubs, but the biggest thing was to convince Billy Williams not to quit. Remember this was a time when it wasn’t easy at all for a young black player. They probably never had a time to get comfortable.
His Sabr biography said Buck was a story teller and that was what he was. That was why he was on the Ken Burns special and why he traveled around the Country raising money for the Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame in Kansas City.
Buck always kept an optimistic attitude. He was very forgiving and we as a society needed a lot of forgiving. Men like him don’t come around very often. I’m glad I got to see and read the little I know and remember of him as he was a fabulous human bean.