Buck O'Neil used to say that he had played with some of the greatest ballplayers ever when he was in the Negro Leagues. O'Neil played first base for the Kansas City Monarchs, along with Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, and later became team manager.
O'Neil was one of the founders and chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City (www.nlbm.com). I met him there in 1999, two years after it opened in the 18th and Vine historic district.
Some other former players for the Monarchs -- Connie Johnson, Herman ''Doc'' Horn, Alfred Surratt, Jesse Rogers -- were there too, and they gave my companions and me an education about the Negro Leagues.
About 2,600 men played in the Negro Leagues between 1920, when they were formed, and the 1950s, after Robinson was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and Major League Baseball was opened to African-American players.
Never miss a local story.
O'Neil never played in the majors, but he joined the Chicago Cubs in 1953 as a scout and then a coach, becoming the first black coach in the major leagues.
O'Neil was nominated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006, but was passed over. He died later that year at age 94.
At the museum he helped build, there's a life-size bronze statue of O'Neil. He's there in the company of some of the men he considered the greatest players of all time.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.