The Broadway Bridge will be renamed the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge to honor the popular Kansas City sports legend at a 10 a.m. ceremony Thursday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The dedication is occurring on the 10th anniversary of his death.
O’Neil was a first baseman and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1938 to 1955. He was a scout for the Chicago Cubs, where he signed Hall of Fame players Ernie Banks and Lou Brock. In 1962, O’Neil became the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball with the Cubs. He joined the Kansas City Royals as a scout in 1988.
O’Neil, however, was widely known as a man who helped renew interest in the Negro Leagues and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in 1990. He served as board chairman until his death in 2006.
Missouri Senators Ryan Silvey and Jason Holsman sponsored the legislation to rename the Broadway Bridge to honor O’Neil.