KANSAS CITY -- The legacy of Kansas City icon Buck O'Neil is carried on at Cooperstown, N.Y., where his likeness each week greets thousands of visitors to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The O'Neil statue, with a smile on his face and a Kansas City Monarchs cap in his hand, is on the museum's first floor as a reminder of what the game's great ambassador meant to baseball.
Now the Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the Buck O'Neil Award, created in 2007 to honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil.
O'Neil, who died in 2006, was the first winner of the award posthumously in 2008. The award can be given by the Hall of Fame's board of directors once every three years.
Nominations can be made by anyone but must be submitted in writing and should detail how the candidate carries on O'Neil's extraordinary traits. Only mail submissions will be accepted and must be sent to:
Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
O'Neil, who was a Royals scout and director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, is remembered at Kauffman Stadium with the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat. At each home game, a community member who exemplifies his spirit is honored and sits in his familiar location at the ballpark.
On Wednesday afternoon, the seat was occupied by Sylvester Thurman who has spent more than 30 years focusing on the needs of people with disabilities in the Kansas City area.