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John "Buck" O'Neil: The Rookie, The Man, The Legacy 1938 Paperback – April 24, 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Phil S. Dixon is widely regarded as one of America's foremost experts on baseball history. He has authored four previous books on the Negro Baseball leagues; The Ultimate Kansas City Baseball Trivia Quiz Book (Bon A Tirer Publishing), The Negro Baseball Leagues a Photographic History, 1867-1955 (Amereon House), The Monarchs 1920-1938 Featuring Wilber "Bullet" Rogan The Greatest Ballplayer in Cooperstown (Mariah Press) and Phil Dixon's American Baseball Chronicles, Vol. III, The 1905 Philadelphia Giants. He has won the prestigious Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992, and a SABR MacMillan Award for his excellence in baseball research. A knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, Dixon lectures regularly to colleges, High schools, community groups and is routinely quoted in print and broadcast media. Formerly in the Public Relations Department of the Kansas City Royals, Dixon is a founder and member of the Board of Governors for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. He remains relentless in his pursuit of equality for African-American athletes in baseball and sports in general.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (April 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438950608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438950600
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book is not really about Buck O'Neil. It is essentially about the Kansas City Monarchs of 1938.

For the most part,the book often reads like an undergraduate research paper. Very choppy. Formulaic. Redundancy often abounds. The text frequently becomes a pretty dry recitation of facts. Think media guide at times.

The portions which relate the recollections of Negro League players are excellent such as O'Neil's description of hoboing (hopping freight trains) across the country in the early 1930s. The prejudice of the times was appalling and unconscionable. One feels Dixon had a great deal of excellent material from interviews with African American players that just didn't make it to the pages. Dixon's exhaustive research is impressive.

Dixon rightfully pulls no punches at American segregation of the times. A powerful poignant capturing of the horrible reality of the not too distant past, Phil Dixon compares the recorded lynching victim totals to win totals of period's most dominant African American team. The lynching totals outnumbered baseball wins during a significant period in the early twentieth century. The total of 3,082 African American recorded lynchings through 1936 is staggering. Try barn storming the States as a black ball player during those times.

However, Dixon sometimes is perhaps seeing prejudicial intent where none was necessarily intended, e.g. suggesting the fictionalized Joe Palooka cartoon character was white society's response or compensation to Joe Louis' successful run as heavy weight champ during the 30s prohibiting proper recognition. One problem Palooka was created around 1921 and just wasn't syndicated until 1930.
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