Kansas City, Mo. – On Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, the Broadway Bridge on U.S. 169 crossing over the Missouri River will be rededicated as the “John Jordan ‘Buck’ O’Neil Memorial Bridge at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This event takes place on the 10th anniversary of Buck’s death.
Buck, as he was affectionately known, was a first baseman and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1938-55. He joined the Chicago Cubs as a scout where he signed Hall of Fame players, Ernie Banks and Lou Brock. In 1962, Buck became the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball history with the Cubs. Buck joined the Kansas City Royals as a scout in 1988.
In his later years, Buck became a popular and renowned speaker and interview subject, helping to renew widespread interest in the Negro Leagues and established the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. in 1990 and served as board chairman until his death in 2006.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has three memorial designation programs to memorialize certain individuals, events, places or organizations on Missouri’s state highway system. Senator Ryan Silvey, who represents the Northland in Jefferson City, and Senator Jason Holsman both sponsored the legislation to designate Broadway Bridge as the “John Jordan ‘Buck’ O’Neil Memorial Bridge.”