Stewart, the legendary Royals scout, became this season's first occupant of the seat often occupied by O'Neil. Since O'Neil's death on Oct. 6, 2006, the Royals have used the location to honor those who carry on the ideals, community involvement and tradition of the Kansas City icon.
"We go back to 1958, which is 50 years ago," Stewart said. "I first met Buck when they were having the Pan American Games at Wrigley Field."
Those were the days before baseball's First-Year Player Draft. Stewart was scouting for the Yankees and O'Neil for the Cubs.
"Lou Brock was playing, and Buck snuck him out on all the scouts and hid him on the South Side before we could get our appointments with him. How about that?"
O'Neil signed Brock for the Cubs, who later slipped up and traded the future Hall of Famer to the Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio.
Stewart was joined by his daughter, Dawn Mansfield, her husband and his grandson, 7-year-old David Arthur. Stewart's wife, Donna, passed away this winter.
The Stewarts sat side by side in seats within talking distance of O'Neil's seat. For the opener, Art moved to the red seat of honor.
"You hate to move out of your seat where you work all the time but for that, absolutely," Stewart said. "And it's just moving across the aisle."
Did the Royals tell Stewart to relax and take the day off?
"No, they didn't tell me that," Stewart said, laughing. "I'll still scout the game and get the evaluation on the Yankees for the whole series."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less