Ballpark Blueprint: Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat
Baseball ambassador Buck O’Neil never knew a stranger. Those of us lucky enough to have met him during his 94 years can attest to that. O’Neil, a former batting champion in the Negro Leagues before becoming the first black coach in Major League Baseball, called Kansas City home and was a fixture around Kauffman Stadium. In addition to championing the works of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, he spent several years sitting behind home plate at Kauffman Stadium as both a Kansas City Royals scout and fan.
He is truly missed at the ballpark, but the Royals continue to pay tribute to this inspirational pioneer through the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program. After his passing in October 2006, the Royals introduced the program in 2007 to recognize those who – on a large or small scale – embody Buck’s vibrant and generous spirit.
Visitors to Kauffman Stadium will notice a single red seat behind home plate that stands out from the sea of Royal blue. That was – and always will be – Buck’s seat. Now in its fifth year, the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program selects deserving individuals to fill that seat for each home game. Honorees are recognized during the game and on Fox Sports Kansas City telecasts for their contributions to the community.
The Royals encourage fans to nominate worthy individuals for the honor and help us keep Buck’s spirit alive. Please visit www.royals.com/legacyseat for more information.