There Is No Excuse for a Bad Attitude

Filed in Living by on August 4, 2016 0 Comments

Buck O'Neil 2There are a lot of people walking around with a bad attitude about life. “Woe is me, I’m always getting screwed. I deserve better!” They constantly play the role of victim.

If you know someone like this, and I’ll wager you do, consider sharing with them the story of Buck O’Neil.

Buck O’Neil was born in 1911. Being an African American in racially segregated Florida, he was initially denied the opportunity to attend high school. After working for a year in the fields, he moved to a relative’s home in another city and was finally allowed entrance to high school. As an adult he developed into an outstanding baseball player, yet was relegated to playing in the Negro League his entire career. He batted .288 over 14 seasons, including five seasons over .300, but still was never was given the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. He dismissed this and other slights to his having a “beautiful tan.” After his playing career ended, he managed a team in the Negro League for several years, after which he finally obtained some vindication, being named the first African American coach in the Major Leagues in 1962.

You would think Buck would be bitter, given that he was denied so many opportunities during his life, but he always maintained a positive attitude. Joe Posnanski, in his book The Soul of Baseball, relates the story of a game in Houston he and Buck attended together. At the end of an inning Houston’s right fielder tossed a ball into the stands, intended for a youngster. A man leaped in front and snatched away the ball, and Joe seethed. Buck smiled and told Joe not to be too hard on the man. “He might have a kid of his own at home, and just wanted the ball for him.” Buck was willing to give this man the benefit of the doubt. It was just his way.

What an amazing guy Buck O’Neil was. He gave all of us something to aspire to, wouldn’t you agree?

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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