O's to honor O'Neil at Minor League facility
Club to unveil plaque of late Negro Leagues star in ceremony
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will honor Negro Leagues pioneer Buck O'Neil in a ceremony at their Minor League facility, the Buck O'Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
The date marks the 100th anniversary of O'Neil's birth, and a plaque honoring O'Neil will also be unveiled and hung at the main entrance to the administrative building at the complex.
O'Neil, who spent a portion of his childhood in Sarasota, was a star first baseman and manager in the Negro Leagues. He also scouted and coached in the Major Leagues and worked tirelessly to preserve and promote the history of the Negro Leagues until his death in October 2006.
Sunday's ceremony marks a rededication of the Orioles' Minors site, originally named in honor of O'Neil in 1995. Sarasota County District 1 Commissioner Carolyn Mason and Sarasota County District 2 Commissioner Joe Barbetta will read a proclamation issued by the Commission identifying Sunday as Buck O'Neil Day in Sarasota. Roy McBean, a longtime friend of O'Neil and the namesake of the McBean Boys & Girls Club, will also be present.
The club will also unveil a series of three O'Neil illustrated baseball cards, created by artist Gary Cieradkowski, that have been hung in the Buck O'Neil Baseball Complex cafeteria and on the observation tower between the playing fields. Cieradkowski is an avid baseball fan who started a project to honor Negro Leagues players, who never had baseball cards of their own, with illustrated baseball cards featuring the player's likeness and a narrative of his career.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.