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A one-time batting champion of the negro leagues managed one more home run before his passing in October. Buck O’Neil, who died from complications of congestive heart failure, was able to get 17 legends from the Negro Baseball League and pre-Negro League days voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 30th. It’s the largest number of inductees in one year in the history of the Hall of Fame. O’Neil was 94.
“This year’s decision was all about numbers. A group of baseball researchers and historians compiled the statistics from the Negro League. The results showed that many of these players had statistics on par with other Hall of Fame players,” says Dale Petroskey, president of the Baseball Hall of Fame. O’Neil spearheaded the recognition of the Negro Leagues and was himself just one vote short of the Hall of Fame.