Words to remember: Great quotes from Buck, about Buck

Buck O’Neil never met a stranger. Everybody was his friend. — Hall of Famer Lou Brock

The Kansas City Star

Buck O’Neil was never at a loss for words, and other key figures in his life were always eager to share what he meant to them and to the game. A sampling:

“Waste no tears for me. I didn’t come along too early. I was right on time.” — Buck O’Neil

“He is a role model, a father, a mentor, a teacher, a sensei, a hero, a gentleman, a man. Buck never curses his fate. He knows that what he did as a player and manager paved the way for the rest of us.” — Hall of Famer Ernie Banks

“Much better than nothing. They’re playing catch-up. It’s a catch-up, but it’s a very fitting catch-up.” — Hall of Famer Bob Feller on Buck’s statue at Baseball Hall of Fame

“Honors an individual whose extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society has broadened the game’s appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity reflect the qualities embodied by Buck O’Neil throughout his life and career.” — Text on O’Neil’s award plaque at Baseball Hall of Fame

“Without our brother Buck, it’s a difficult day. I felt a tremendous amount of grief, but yet there’s so much joy to his life. This is a story with a happy ending.” — Ken Burns, filmmaker, after Buck’s death

You need to get here. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not. This is about more than baseball.” — Yankees captain Derek Jeter on the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Buck used to always say he hit for the cycle. Now I don’t know a whole lot about baseball, but I know that in life, he hit for the cycle.” — Ollie Gates, owner of Gates Bar-B-Q

“I have never felt more loved.” — O’Neil, on the public’s response after he was left out of the Hall

“If we had but one perfect portrait of our Uncle John to maintain forever, it would be of his unspoken creed. Give without remembering, and take without forgetting.” — Dr. Angela Owen Terry, O’Neil’s niece

“Buck O’Neil never met a stranger. Everybody was his friend.” — Hall of Famer Lou Brock

“If he was 104 (years old), it still wouldn’t have been enough time.” — Hall of Famer Joe Morgan

“I can’t hate a human being because my God never made anything ugly. Now, you can be ugly if you want to, boy, but God didn’t make you that way.” — O’Neil

I was real, real shy, real timid around him. The first thing he did was embrace me, and it made me feel real good. He was so full of life, he just lit up a room whenever he walked in.” — Phillies All-Star Ryan Howard

“I can feel like I’m 15 when I’m talking baseball, watching baseball.” — O’Neil

“He was a blessing for all of us. I believe that people like Buck and Rachel Robinson and Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa are angels that walk on earth to give us all a greater understanding of what it means to be human.” — Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson

“He brought the attention of a lot of people in this country to the Negro Leagues. He told us all how good they were and that they deserved to be recognized for what they did, and their contributions and the injustice that a lot of them had to endure.” — Hall of Famer Frank Robinson

“Son, in this life, you don’t ever walk by a red dress.” — O’Neil


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