⚾️ Kansas Baseball Announces Buck O’Neil Classic at Legends Field
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas baseball program announced on Thursday the inception of the Buck O’Neil Classic. The game will take place on Tuesday, April 19 vs. Texas Southern at 6 p.m. CT at Legends Field, home of the Kansas City Monarchs. Both teams will wear uniforms designed after styles worn by Negro League Baseball teams.
“From the day I moved from California to Kansas City and became familiar with Buck O’Neil and what he has meant to the entire region of the Kansas City metropolitan area, I have been amazed by his legacy in our sport,” said Head Coach Ritch Price. “I was so happy for him when he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame this fall. To have the opportunity to associate Kansas baseball with Buck O’Neil, I could not be more grateful and honored that we get to play in the first annual Buck O’Neil Classic at Legends Field.”
Buck O’Neil was a first baseman and played a majority of his career for the Kansas City Monarchs. He later would be a player-manager for the Monarchs. Upon the conclusion of his time in the Negro Leagues in 1955, O’Neil was hired by the Chicago Cubs as a scout. In 1962, the Cubs promoted O’Neil to their major league coaching staff, making him the first African American coach in Major League Baseball history. O’Neil will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July for his contributions to the game as a player, scout and manager.
“As a Kansas City, Missouri, native and longtime admirer of Negro League Baseball, I am elated at the opportunity to help create the Buck O’Neil Classic as an annual event for our Kansas baseball program,” said Paul Pierce II, Associate Athletics Director for Inclusive Excellence. “As our athletics department continues its pursuit towards inclusive excellence, we must continue to develop additional community-wide opportunities that are focused on discussing topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.”
All seats for the game will be general admission. Adult admission will cost $10, while youth and senior citizens will be $8. Season ticket holders will receive a ticket to the game as part of their season ticket package. Fans wishing to purchase tickets can contact the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141, or visit the ticketing page here.
For those unable to attend, the game will be streamed on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio will be available on the Jayhawk Sports Network on KUAthletics.com and the Kansas Jayhawks app.