The Soul of Baseball
A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's AmericaBook - 2007
Documents the author's cross-country travels at the side of Negro Leagues champion Buck O'Neil, a journey during which the pair sought to recapture their love of the game, remembered O'Neil's history-making career, and explored the numerous challenges that the sport has overcome.
When Legendary Negro League player Buck O'Neil asked sports columnist Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, Posnanski had to think about it. From that question was born the idea behind BASEBALL AND JAZZ. Posnanski and the 94 year old O'Neil decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country in hopes of stirring up the love that first drew them to the game. This book is just as much the story of Buck O'Neil as it is the story of baseball. In a time when disillusioned, steroid–shooting, money hungry athletes define the sport, Buck O'Neil stands out as a man that truly played for the love of the game. Posnanski writes about that love and the one thing that O'Neil loved almost as much as baseball: jazz. BASEBALL AND JAZZ is an endearing step back in time to the days when the crack of a bat and the smoky notes of a midnight jam session were the sounds that brought the most joy to a man's heart.
An award-winning sports columnist documents his cross-country travels at the side of Negro Leagues champion Buck O'Neil, a journey during which the pair sought to recapture their love of the game, remembered O'Neil's history-making career, and explored the numerous challenges that the sport has overcome, from racism to steroid scandals.
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Joe Posnanski is a good writer, but this is not his best work. Buck O'Neil is a great subject and Posnanski could have done more with the access he was granted. O'Neil is a hero, but would have appeared more so with the blinders off. Maybe Posnanski thought enough writing had been done about the Negro Leagues - he ultimately does Mr. O'Neil a disservice by being so complimentary.
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