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Buck O'Neil's 100th Birthday Celebration

Buck O'Neil's 100th Birthday Celebration

The late Buck O'Neil, a Kansas City and baseball legend, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on November 13, 2011. His stellar baseball career, from the Negro Leagues to the Majors, spanned seven decades and covered the full spectrum — player, manager, scout and barrier-breaking coach — to make him one of the leading authorities on the sport. But it was his tireless and passionate work to build the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) — along with a charismatic personality and compassionate spirit — that endeared him, to not only Kansas Citians, but a legion of fans worldwide.

Born the grandson of a slave, Buck would become a change agent for equality and social justice while giving voice to a history that had been forgotten. In tribute to this inspiring figure, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is hosting a city-wide celebration that culminates on November 13: Buck's 100th birthday.

buck 100 for 100

$100-for-100 Campaign

In conjunction with the Buck O'Neil Centennial Celebration, the NLBM has launched a $100-for-100 campaign to benefit the NLBM and the future Buck O'Neil Education & Research Center. The Royals encourage fans to support the cause by making a donation of $100 and help the NLBM reached its campaign goal of $100,000.

Centennial Celebration Programs & Events

In addition to the $100-for-100 campaign, the Buck O'Neil Centennial Celebration is set to include a number of special events as well as community and educational programming.

  • Right on Time Exhibit: As part of the Centennial Celebration, the NLBM is presenting this critically-acclaimed exhibit chronicling the life and times of Buck O'Neil. Originally developed in celebration of Buck's 90th birthday, the exhibit has been refurbished and expanded to include milestone accomplishments before and after Buck's untimely death in 2006. An All-Star roster of visual artists will create original works of art that interpret the life of Buck. The exhibit, which is open free to the public, is located in the Changing Gallery of the Museums at 18th & Vine though February 2012.
  • First Watch Proceeds Day: First Watch restaurants have designated Friday, Nov. 11 as "Buck O'Neil Day" and will again donate profits that day from all 10-area locations in memory of Buck O'Neil and support of the NLBM.
  • The Word on Buck: Through The Word on Buck program, area high school students will have the opportunity to participate in a writing and spoken word competition inspired by the lifeworks of Buck O'Neil and the Negro Leagues. The winning student will present his/her works at the Buck O'Neil Birthday Bash.
  • Buck O'Neil Baseball Family Reunion: Buck O'Neil's family tree in baseball is impressive and extensive. The NLBM is planning a reunion of the players whose Major League Baseball careers were launched by Buck. The notable list includes baseball greats such as Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, George Altman, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, JC Hartman, Oscar Gamble, Lee Smith and Joe Carter.
  • Buck's Bash: The Centennial Celebration concludes with the annual birthday bash planned for Saturday, Nov. 12 at the NLBM and Gem Theater. The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will feature a cocktail party, tribute and concert.
  • Kansas City Star Special Section: In partnership with the NLBM, The Kansas City Star will produce a special Buck O'Neil Centennial Section to be included in its Sunday, Nov. 13 edition.

To support the $100 for 100 campaign or to learn more information on the Centennial Celebration, please visit

Read the related news story here ».

About the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM)

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world's only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. The privately funded, 501 c3, not-for-profit organization was incorporated in 1990 and is located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri's Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. The NLBM operates two blocks from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew "Rube" Foster established the Negro National League in 1920.

The NLBM has become an internationally-acclaimed attraction and one of the most important cultural institutions in world for preserving and illuminating a piece of baseball and Americana that had escaped the pages of American history books. In July of 2006, the NLBM gained National Designation from the United States Congress earning the distinction of being "America's National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum."