December 1, 2021
For Immediate Release Phil S. Dixon
Baseball Historians Phil S. Dixon, Larry Lester, and Lloyd Johnson Slated To Appear at John “Buck” O’Neil Hall of Fame Watch Party
December 1, 2021 - Leading authorities on all things baseball, premier authors and historians Phil S. Dixon, Larry Lester, Lloyd Johnson will reunite after more than twenty years for a special Hall of Fame watch celebration for John “Buck” O’Neil on the day of his much anticipated 2021 Hall of Fame announcement. Dixon, Lester, and Johnson are the three remaining co-founders of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum who formed the institution along with O’Neil and Al Surratt in 1990. This is a reunion of these historic members who have published more than 30 baseball books between them.
Dixon is hosting the event in his home state of Kansas, where he began researching Negro League baseball over 40-years ago. The watch party will take place, Sunday, December 5, 2021, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the KC Daiquiri Shop Bistreaux, 8725 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, Kansas, and will comfortably host 100 guests. You may RSVP with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The venue is decked out with televisions so attendees can view the Hall of Fame selections in real-time. As you enjoy a scrumptious meal from the special order menu, prizes for the most uniquely signed original “Buck” collectible, along with a raffle every 15 minutes with items from the Kansas City Monarchs American Association baseball team, books, and other items will be given away. Bring any publication written by these well-known authors, they are happy to sign. We anticipate a big announcement for “Buck” and the other candidates on the ballots.
Dixon will lead the celebration and will be available with Lester and Johnson during the event for a media Q&A session about any player selected from the Early Baseball Era ballot on that evening. The author is urging all baseball lovers to come out and enjoy the local fare in honor of “Buck,” who was a lover of food as much as baseball. Dixon and O’Neil often frequented Jimmy D’s BBQ in Kansas City, where they dined on finger-licking smoked rib tips. “If Buck were anywhere other than the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, he would be at a restaurant.” quipped Dixon. Buck would always say, “we were eating at the best restaurants in the world. I know we were eating the best food because, at that time, the best cooks in the world were Black.”
When The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors convened a Special Early Baseball Overview Committee of 10 historians to develop the Early Baseball Era Committee’s 10-person ballot, Kansas City-based Phil S. Dixon, a nationally recognized Baseball Historian, was asked to join the ranks. As the only African American male on the Special Early Baseball Overview Committee, Dixon brought to the committee a wealth of experience and expertise that helped him and the others co-found the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. His recent works include “The Dizzy and Daffy Dean Barnstorming Tour, Race, Media, and America’s National Pastime.” Lester has written several classics which include, “Black Baseball's National Showcase: The East-West All-Star Game, 1933-1953.” Johnson scored big with his classic, "The Minor League Register," along with other publications on baseball.
Seven Negro Leagues, pre-Negro Leagues legends, and three American League/National League stars comprise the 10-name Early Baseball Era ballot, featuring candidates with contributions to the game before 1950.
In addition to O’Neil and fellow Kansas City Monarch John Donaldson, the Early Baseball Era ballot includes but is not limited to Bill Dahlen, Vic Harris, John “Bud” Fowler, Lefty O’Doul, Allie Reynolds, George Scales, Dick “Cannonball” Redding, and Grant “Home Run” Johnson.
Hall of Fame selections from the Golden Days Era ballot, which includes Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Minnie Miñoso, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce. and Maury Wills, will also be announced on the same evening.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member committee, or players who are selected for the 2022 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election will be officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, July 24, 2022.
“People all over the country have their favorite picks, but here in Kansas City, we have high hopes that O’Neil will be one of the players who will get enshrined. I was more than happy to add my input for “Buck” during the ballot development process. Now let’s hope for the best!” posted Dixon.