“We were good!” Buck used to say, and it always warmed my heart that by the end of his life people believed him. That wasn’t always true. When Buck first started telling the story, back in the 1960s and ’70s and ’80s and into the ’90s, people would shrug when he talked about how good those Negro Leagues players were. They would roll their eyes. He used to say that in those days more people would tell him how it was, an astonishing thing if you think about it.
“I would tell them, ‘That’s not true, I was there,’” Buck said. “But they wouldn’t listen.”
And people didn’t listen … until Ken Burns featured Buck O’Neil on his “Baseball” PBS miniseries.