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Buck O'Neil Seat 9/11/14
There is a special seat at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. It is the only red one among the 37,903 blue seats throughout the stadium. The Royals have dedicated it to a special person- John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil.  To sit in it you have to be nominated by the public and the Royals.  The criteria is that you must contribute in a meaningful way something back into the community in which you live. I had the honor of sitting their with my friends on the 13th anniversary of 9/11 which was Thursday 9/11/14.  I write a weekly column for The Examiner newspaper and here is what I wrote.
It was a game to forget but a night to remember. Eight days ago I was preparing my 9/11 presentation for the Blue Springs Historical Society when the Royals called to tell me I was selected to sit in the only red seat, of the 37,903 seats, at Kauffman Stadium on 9/11.The one dedicated to a great American, the ultimate baseball ambassador, a navy veteran, a loving husband and one of God's gifts to humanity- John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil.
Buck's accomplishments as a player, coach, manager and baseball spokesperson are too numerous to mention in this limited space. The 94 year legend passed away on October 6, 2006 at the age of 94. His statue greets visitors to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and he also resides in The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine in Kansas City.
That seat, Section 127, Row C, Seat 9, behind home plate, is where Buck used to sit. It  took me back to October of 2004 when I personally met Buck at "The Music Of Our Lives" show at Yardley Hall in Johnson County. I was there to read  my poem about the World War I Liberty Memorial and Buck danced to "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" (to a standing ovation). I told him of my experience as a lad growing up in Pittsburgh attending an all star game between two major Negro teams at Forbes Field. I told him that little did I know I was watching some of the greatest ball players of all time. He agreed. Fortunately, I have a photo of the two of us and a CD of the show. It is a treasure.
As for that red seat. I was selected by the Royals to sit there for my writing contributions to our military, our veterans, our first responders and to patriotism. I shared the day with local first responders who were part of Major League Baseball's nationwide tribute to first responders and all who died on 9/11.
Sharing my honor at the game were  my friends Willard Jurgensmeyer, his daughter Carlyn and Bill and Sue Pastor.
Last Thursday 28,673 fans came to root for our Royals in a losing cause. We lost the game but I won. Thanks to the Royals I won another memory of a great humanitarian.
Go Royals!
I give you President John Adams' toast: Independence Forever.
The above photos show me with my friends
Willard Jurgensmeyer, Carlyn Jurgensmeyer, Bill and Sue Pastor.
Me and Buck O"Neil circa October 2004.
Me at Kauffman stadium with the Buck O'Neil Citation.
Me in the Buck O'Neil Seat.