Negro League baseball players Buck O’Neil and Bud Fowler earn spots in National Baseball Hall of Fame – .

Negro League baseball players Buck O’Neil and Bud Fowler earn spots in National Baseball Hall of Fame – .

They were two of seven Negro League and pre-Negro League players who were considered to be Hall of Fame inductees on Sunday. O’Neil and Fowler join four other contestants – Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva – as part of the Hall of Fame class of 2022.

All six players will be officially inducted in Cooperstown, New York on July 24, 2022, according to the Hall of Fame website.

O’Neil, who was known as a baseball ambassador, played 10 seasons with the Memphis Red Sox and the Kansas City Monarchs, according to the Hall of Fame. After his playing career, O’Neil became a scout for the Chicago Cubs and would become the first black coach in American League or National League history with Chicago.

O’Neil, who died in 2006, also helped found the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Fowler was recognized as the first black professional baseball player, according to the Hall of Fame. He pitched and played second base for various teams in over a dozen leagues before his death in 1913.

The election of these two players to the Hall of Fame comes a year after Major League Baseball announced that it recognized the Black Leagues as a Major League and counted the statistics and records of thousands of black players as part of the story of the game.

The MLB said it was “correcting a long-standing oversight in the history of the game” by raising the status of the Black Leagues – which consisted of seven leagues and approximately 3,400 players from 1920 to 1948.

The decline of the Negro Leagues began in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first black player in MLB, joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In 1969, the Special Committee on Baseball Records did not include the black leagues among the six “major leagues” it had identified since 1876.

CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Dan Kamal contributed to this report.


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