Saturday, July 26, 2008

reader response: the soul of baseball: a road trip through buck o'neil's america by joe posnanski

for some reason, i've really struggled to finish books lately. right now i have bookmarked copies of killing the buddha: a heretic's bible, not for sale, graphic novels: stories to change your life, harry potter and the deathly hallows and keep your donors lying in various places all over the house. however, when i cracked open my discounted copy* of the soul of baseball earlier this week i simply could not put it down.

if you're a fan of ken burns' documentaries, hail from kansas city or know anything about the negro leagues you know the name buck o'neil already. if you don't, here's the briefest of synopses: buck was a solid negro leagues player, the long-time manager of the kansas city monarchs (who were, depending on who you're talking to, the yankees or the red sox of the negro leagues) and the most engaging ambassador that either the negro leagues or professional baseball has ever seen.

throughout the book, as buck speaks to and greets folks from every walk of life it quickly becomes clear that buck is not simply an old ballplayer, but a priest who shares the sacraments of celebration and forgiveness with everyone he meets. if you want to understand the priesthood of all believers that saints from peter to r. paul stevens have been extolling for ages, you best read this book.

thank you for blessing us with your presence buck and congratulations on your recent (long overdue) enshrinement in the hall of fame.

* which i came upon at the christmas tree shop, of all places, and purchased for a mere $2.99.


Dale said...

Joe Posnanski is the only sports writer who has ever made me tear up...he is quite possibly the best sports writer walking the earth

the negro leagues baseball museum is off the hook, definitely worth a visit, baseball fan or not

g13 said...

whitlock isn't your favorite? his piece on scoop jackson

i've been wanting to visit the negro leagues museum for years. tried to make it up over xmas, but got waylaid by delayed flights. maybe when i come to OK over labor day i'll pop up and you, i and my femme friend jackaway can go together.

Dale said...

whitlock is great and totally unafraid, but posnanski is otherworldly...we're extremely lucky to have two guys like that in kc

if/when you make it here, we'll do it, it'd be a blast