• The Soul of Baseball

  • A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America
  • By: Joe Posnanski
  • Narrated by: David Sadzin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When legendary Negro League player Buck O'Neil asked Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, the renowned sports columnist was inspired by the question. He decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country with the 94-year-old O'Neil in hopes of rediscovering the love that first drew them to the game.

The Soul of Baseball is as much the story of Buck O'Neil as it is the story of baseball. Driven by a relentless optimism and his two great passions - for America's pastime and for jazz, America's music - O'Neil played solely for love. In an era when greedy, steroid-enhanced athletes have come to characterize professional ball, Posnanski offers a salve for the damaged spirit: the uplifting life lessons of a truly extraordinary man who never missed an opportunity to enjoy and love life.

©2007 Joe Posnanski (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Soul of Baseball

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Buck O’Neil fan!!

I have not been a Buck O’Neil fan. I was a Josh Gibson,Satchel Paige,Oscar Charlton and more fan. Reading this book made me a Buck fan. What a man what a story. Loved the book. Enjoyed the stories and the attitude by Buck. So much fun

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A fascinating look at a true Hall of Famer.

I recently saw a presentation through the Baseball Hall of Fame with the author that spotlighted this book and his relationship with Buck O’Neil. Also have been following Bob Kendrick’s Black Diamond’s podcast. Bob is President of the Negro League Museum and a friend of Buck as well. These two gentlemen have peaked my interest in Buck and I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this recently elected member to The Baseball Hall of Fame. Thought I knew about Buck before, learned so much more about him. He was an amazing advocate for the players of the Negro Leagues and a great human.

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What a Man!

This book is based on a year the author spent with Buck O'Neil in his later years. Buck is a legend, having played in the Negro Leagues, coached in the major leagues, and having founded the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Buck was instrumental in getting many Negro Leagues players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He appeared on Ken Burns' documentaries and frequently on TV.

More importantly, Buck was just a great human being. His always positive and forgiving attitude will amaze you. Buck lived through a difficult era and experienced many things that would have made almost all of us bitter. He would not let that define him. He saw the best in everyone, and understood that people are not, generally speaking, all good or all bad, and that we all have bad days. Buck could bring out the good in people and turn a person's bad day into a good one.

In an age where people complain about everything and try to cancel others with a different viewpoint, we could sure use Buck O'Neil. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but his example shines on. It will be impossible for most of us to live up to it, but we can try.

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Absolutely wonderful!

A remarkable book! Anyone who likes baseball should listen to this. It was simply mesmerizing.

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Incredible

Is there anyone that has ever lived that can talk about baseball with as much transparent joy and excitement as Buck? No! From this book I learned that he was not a baseball player, rather he was an incredible man that just so happened to play baseball. Once in a while people come along that captivate you and Buck's ability to tell a story with lessons, wisdom and meaning transgresses the game and makes one look inside themselves at who they really are. He was a light, and his loyalty to those great men he played with gave him purpose so they could finally get the recognition they so deeply deserve. The way this book was written, beatufiully exposed the reader/listener to the SOUL of a man that happened to play baseball. What a wonderful uplifting read.

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The best baseball book I've ever read.

Essential reading for baseball fans and non fans alike. So thoughtfully written and read. A gift.

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Just what I needed ...

... when what I needed were stories. Stories from a legend who helped me better understand a time I only heard of and know so little about. The narrator was perfect. The writing was lovely. The subject matter was as good as it gets.

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Inspiring, more than a baseball story

Joe Posnanski creates a lasting tribute to Buck O'Neil by not just relaying great baseball stories but a greater tribute to a life well lived. We all should carry a little of Buck O'Neil in us.

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Awesome inspirational

It is a book describing the Negroleagues through the eyes of Buck O'neal. Good book

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I was moved.

I felt like I learned about a more accurate Negro Leagues, a relationship between a sports writer and an amazing man, and joyous look at that amazing man’s character.