Distinguished guests watch All-Star Game from Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat
Section 127, Row B, Seat 7 at Kauffman Stadium is one of the best in the house.
Located just behind home plate in the Royals Diamond Club, the spot could fetch a good price, especially during Kansas City's first All-Star Game since 1973. But the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat isn't up for sale. Since the Negro League icon passed away in 2006, one fan who embodies an aspect of his spirit is given the honor of sitting in "Buck's Seat" each game.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick sat in the seat during the Futures Game, and he was followed by Reggie Jackson during the Home Run Derby. Kendrick was a longtime friend of O’Neil’s and was the former vice president of marketing for the landmark, while Jackson's titanic home run is one of the defining moments in All-Star Game history.
During the All-Star Game on Tuesday, the seat belonged to Sharon Robinson, Linda Paige Shelby and fifth-grade student Raeya Ponugoti. Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, wrote the acclaimed book “Testing the Ice,” a non-fiction story about her father. Likewise, Ponugoti turned heads with an essay she completed about overcoming school bullying, which earned her the grand prize in the 2012 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.
With a former comrade of O'Neil, a Hall of Fame outfielder, daughters of Negro League stars and a talented young writer occupying the seat, the legacy was in good hands.
-- Gary Cotton