Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

The Soul of Baseball

on September 18, 2009

The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski

soul of baseball This book was loaned to me from my dad, who borrowed it from his friend Dennis. It’s making the rounds of the baseball lovers. Buck O’Neil was a player in the Negro Leagues and became the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball. In his later years, he spear-headed the effort to establish a Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and after it was built, served as the honorary board chairman.

Joe Posnanski is a Kansas City sports columnist that traveled cross-country with the ninety-three-year-old O’Neil to different speaking engagements and events, all while telling him stories and letting Posnanski see America through his eyes.

This book is great for any one who truly loves baseball. If you don’t love baseball, I think you would still enjoy the stories that Mr. O’Neil shares and his views and opinions. He was a charming man and had a great wit about him.

I marked some of my favorite quotes in the book, and I thought I would share.
The book opens with one of the best descriptions of Houston weather I’ve ever heard:
“We were in Houston in springtime. We sat in a ballpark under a sun so hot the seats melted beneath us. There is something honest about Houston heat-it comes at you straight. It does not drain you like the Washington humidity or try and trick you like dry heat in Phoenix. In Houston, the heat punches you in the gut again and again.”

Joe and Buck attended a Cubs-Astros game in Houston and Buck made some comments about the game:
after Roger Clemens hit a single: “Did he do it? Did he do it? What you say? That’s what I’m talking about, Roger! You go! That’s baseball!”

after a fly ball was hit: “No need to cheer that one, folks. Tha’s an easy out.”

to a hitter complaining to an umpire after striking out against Greg Maddux: “Sit down, young man. You’re not the first to man to strike out against Greg Maddux. You’re not the best man to strike out against Greg Maddux. Just sit down.”

to a pitcher who kept walking people: “Throw some strikes, dummy.”

It’s a good read and a good glimpse of what it was like back in the days before Jackie Robinson.

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2 responses to “The Soul of Baseball

  1. […] Quotes « The Soul of Baseball […]

  2. JimmyBean says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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