The Soul Of Baseball
Joe Posnanski is one of the best sports writers around. His book Soul of Baseball recounts the time he spent following Buck O’Neil around the country. Buck wasn’t the best of the old Negro League players, but he was quite good. However, he became baseball royalty for what he did after his playing days were over. He was the first African-American coach in the MLB, a fantastic scout (who is credited with signing Hall of Famers Lou Brock and Ernie Banks among others), and he worked tirelessly to keep the history of the Negro Leagues around and relevant, which culminated in the building of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Perhaps the saddest/best part of the book is what Buck missed out on in life. Buck never got the chance to play in the MLB because Jackie came later and he never got to manage in the MLB even though he was a good manager in the Negro Leagues. Throughout the book you see that he never let this affect his life. Instead of being a bitter curmudgeon (like I probably would have been) he was forgiving, thankful, and full of hope. This book is a short read but well worth it for sports fans, or just people who like a great story about a great person. Pick up a copy and do yourself a favor and read it.
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