Tuesday, February 28, 2006
life isnt fair. i dont even know why we pretend theres even a chance of it being fair. live in LA for 15 minutes and you will see the disparity between absolute wealth and poverty and you'll get it that fairness isnt part of this so-called life.
the other day i woke up with my hands on the perfect breasts of a young lady and i thought to myself how did this happen and i said because life isnt fair. the next day i was flying to amsterdam for free and i asked myself how did i get this and i said because life isnt fair. and then i got back to LA and went on with life and throughout the day i asked myself how the fuck did i end up in this or that situation and i knew the answer. it was clear.
buck o'neil is 94 years old and so full of life its not fair. he was born Black in America at a time when Blacks weren't allowed to play in the "major leagues" so he played in the negro leagues, which many say, at the time, was the better league.
buck o'neil was so good that even though he was batting .355 against the best Black pitchers in the negro leagues, the owner named him to be manager of the team. so he had to play and manage. but Buck didnt care. he knew life wasnt fair. and he knew it wasnt fair that some people had to work in factories or on farms and there he was "having" to play baseball and "manage" freewheelers like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson.
because life isnt fair Major League Baseball decided to form a committe to vote on 39 negro league players coaches and owners for acceptance into the Hall of Fame. it was a simple yes or no vote for all 39, meaning all 39 could get in if enough people voted yes for each of them.
17 were voted in but because life isnt fair Buck O'Neil wasnt one of them, despite being one of the top 10 negro league players of all time, despite being major league baseball's first Black coach, despite being one of the most talented scouts in baseball helping the Cubs discover and sign hall of famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and even Sammy Sosa.
Buck O'Neil is so intertwined with the Negro Leagues that he helped build the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City where he delivered these words on Monday when it was announced that he would not be placed in the Hall.
"God's been good to me, You can see that, can't you? It didn't happen. They didn't think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. That's the way they thought about it and that's the way it is, so we're going to live with that. Now, if I'm a hall-of-famer for you, that's all right with me. Just keep loving old Buck.
"Don't shed any tears 'cause I'm not going to the Hall of Fame.
"You think about this. Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We've come a long ways. Before, we never even thought about anything like that. America, you've really grown and you're still growing."
baseball historian Matt Welch calls O'Neil a saint and I couldnt think of a better word. in a week where the Sex Pistols told the rock n roll Hall of Fame that it was a piss stain unworthy of the punk band, O'Neil is the polar opposite. hes the gold standard of class.
Cuban infielder for the crosstown White Sox, Minnie Minosa, the only other living Negro League hopeful also didn't get enough votes to get in the hall, despite being a 7-time mlb all-star and the only major leaguer to play in five decades. Orlando Cepeda once wrote "Minnie is to Latin players what Jackie Robinson is to black players."
So which gold standard people of color made it into the Hall instead of Buck and Minnie? Well, among the 17 who were ushered in during this special election to honor negro league stars to make up for life not being fair - were two whites!
Keith Oberman described it perfectly in his blog:
Snubbing Minoso and O'Neill -- apparently for all time -- is extraordinary enough. But only baseball could make it worse. In honoring the Negro Leagues -- it managed to exclude O'Neill and Minoso -- but did elect two white people. so crime pays, faking being Black pays, but truly being Black and truly carrying the flag for negro league baseball gets you diddly in regards to the baseball hall of fame, which still refuses to allow even a vote to see if the game's greatest hitter can be inducted.
James Leslie Wilkinson was the founder of those Kansas City Monarchs -- Jackie Robinson's team before he broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Wilkinson was a white businessman. And today's election also made a Hall of Famer out of Effa Manley... She was the owner of the Newark Eagles of the Negro American League. It sounds almost impossible to believe -- but she too was white -- married to a black man -- and she pretended to be -- as the term was, then, "passed" -- as a light-skinned black.
Most of the 17 electees yesterday were entirely deserving. Such legendary figures as Sol White and Biz Mackey and Jose Mendez will achieve in death and in the Hall of Fame something they were denied in life. Just to twist the knife a little further into Buck O'Neil, the special committee elected Alex Pompez, owner of the New York Cubans team... Also an organized crime figure... Part of the mob of the infamous '30s gangster Dutch Schultz... Indicted in this country and Mexico for racketeering.
its starting to look like theres another piss stain next to the rock n roll hall of fame, it's called Cooperstown.
Previously on busblog...