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Sarasota baseball great honored with mural

Painting of John “Buck” O’Neil honors Newtown man days before induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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  • | 1:00 p.m. July 20, 2022
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A four-story tall homage to a Negro League baseball all-star will be formally dedicated at 9 a.m. Thursday along Boulevard of the Arts.

The mural of John “Buck” O’Neil was painted by Matt McAllister on the side of the Rosemary Square building at 1468 Boulevard of the Arts. O’Neil grew up in Sarasota and played 12 seasons for the Memphis Red Sox and the Kansas City Monarchs between 1937 and 1950.  

He was the first Black coach in the MLB and will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 24.

O’Neil also was instrumental in the formation of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, serving as an honorary chair until he died at the age of 94 in 1996.

The mural was supported by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Baltimore Orioles Foundation, DreamLarge, Newtown Alive, RADD and the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition.


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