Contents Acknowledgments Foreword by Ken Burns 1. Why, Nancy, There You Are 2. Damn, There's Got to Be Something Better Than This 3. I Ate So Much My Mama Cried 4. People Tell Me I Look Good in a Dress 5. 18th and Vine 6. Seems Like I Been Here Before 7. Bring 'Em On 8. Now Hear This! Now Hear This! 9. Long Live the Monarchs 10. My Cub Scout Years 11. Love What You Do 12. Got to Give It Up Index
Buck O'Neil is currently the chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. A former all-star player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs, O'Neil has the distinction of being the first African-American to hold a coaching position in major-league baseball. A former scout for the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals, O'Neil now resides in Kansas City, Missouri.
Although O'Neil was a star in the Negro baseball leagues for many years, starting with a semipro team at the age of 12 and signing with the pros at 23, he achieved his greatest fame as one of the major figures in Ken Burns's acclaimed PBS series Baseball. A first baseman, he played mostly for the Kansas City Monarchs. In 1941 he met Satchel Paige, with whom he developed a close friendship. He became the Monarchs' playing manager in 1948; when black baseball folded because of post-Robinson integration, he was a scout and a coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1956 to 1988; and he has scouted for the Kansas City Royals ever since. His autobiography, written with Wulf, an editor at Sports Illustrated, and freelancer Conrads, is a cornucopia of delightful anecdotes, including an episode that resulted in Paige dubbing him "Nancy" and the period when he played with the Zulu Cannibal Giants, who increased their take at the gate by barnstorming in grass skirts. No fan of the sport should miss this volume, which is as entertaining as it is informative. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (June)
Frank Higgins Kansas City Star I Was Right on Time has an amiability and truth that make it seem as if O'Neil is talking directly to the reader while both sit in the stands and enjoy a game at the field of dreams. Chicago Sun-Times [O'Neil's] wry memories of the Negro Leagues are just as captivating in print as they were on TV.
YA-This memoir is an excellent discussion of the Negro Baseball Leagues and the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s. Most fans of the game will enjoy O'Neil's descriptions of his adventures from his birth in Florida to his groundbreaking position as the first black coach in major league baseball. The book is also an excellent primary source on the Negro Leagues or cities during integration, particularly Kansas City where O'Neil spent quite some time. The underlying message of the book is always to enjoy what you are doing. The informal tone and the amount of white space per page will make this offering appealing to less-motivated students. Photographs appear in a centerfold. Easy to read, this title is an excellent choice for YAs.-Fred Amico, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA