Strike Two for MLB’s Hall of Fame

By Kevin C. Young
Updated: October 7, 2006

MARYLAND–Just a week ago I was notified that I would be inducted into the U.S. Track and Field’s Hall of Fame. Although this was something that I never considered, it was nice to be chosen. I am grateful that I never compromised my personal integrity to become the fastest hurdler on the planet. The accomplishment alone means the most to me in this current time of drug cheats and liars. At the very least I am pleased to be alive to know that I made it.

Unfortunately, this morning I went online to see something I expected to see occur before the end of this year, the passing of Negro League great John “Buck” O’Neil. I read recently that he was in the hospital and his condition was weakening. While alive he was not given the proper due respect by being voted into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. It’s sad because he should have been alive to celebrate this inevitable occasion. Now the powers that be will scramble around and make sure that he’s inducted posthumously. I will not be the first to draw this conclusion nor the last. Over the years we have all witnessed his warm character and gracious humility. It is a known fact that the hall is full of individuals with far less merit than Mr. O’Neil. Being the first black coach in major league baseball to me seems grounds enough to be elected into the hall.

This is the failing case of the Hall not giving Mr. O’Neil his flowers while he was alive to share his feelings with us. We can only imagine now what a glorious occasion this would have been. So now what? With baseball leading into the pennant race, we will be given only a moment of silence to commemorate his contribution to America’s pastime.

I know that I don’t speak for the multitude of fans, but this sucks. For those committee members that got it right the first time keep up the good work, for those who didn’t you should be ashamed. Obviously there are members who don’t belong on the voting panel. In baseball you only get three strikes, Pete Rose-strike ONE, Buck O’Neil-strike TWO, what will be baseball’s third and final strike?