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I Was Right On Time

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  598 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
From Babe Ruth to Bo Jackson, from Cool Papa Bell to Lou Brock, Buck O'Neil has seen it all. As a first baseman and then manager of the legendary Kansas City Monarchs, O'Neil witnessed the heyday of the Negro leagues and their ultimate demise.
In I Was Right on Time, he charmingly recalls his days as a ballplayer and as an African-American in a racially divided country. W
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 12th 1997 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1996)
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Jun 22, 2011 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1/2 stars Though the man himself gets more than 5, as many stars as I could possibly give him!

Like others, I was first introduced to Buck O'Neil thanks to Ken Burns' wonderful "Baseball" documentary. I fell in love with him then, as did so many other viewers. In July, 2006, I listened on TV to his speech at a Hall of Fame induction (he died less than 3 months later), and then wrote (to myself) that he was my hero (in the same way that my paternal grandmother was my 'hero'), though I'm not
Troy Soos
Nov 28, 2009 Troy Soos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball, biography
I had the pleasure of doing a joint book-signing with Buck O'Neil in Kansas City when my own book Hanging Curve was published. That was the only time I hoped for no customers because I wanted to listen to him speak without interruption! It was almost hypnotic to hear him as he talked about his incredible life in baseball. Reading this charming autobiography, I can almost hear his magical voice again.
Apr 08, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I've read this book a couple times - Buck's gentle attitude and humor shine in this memoir. I had the great privilege of meeting him about 15 years ago and he was charming, delightful, and flirtatious. I cherish the photo of us together and the signed baseball. A class act all the way. The book is filled with wonderful anecdotes, loved all of it.
May 13, 2009 woody rated it it was amazing
True story about Buck O'Neil playing in the Negro Leagues. I love the story about how he got the nickname "Nancy" from Satchel Paige.
Brett Thomasson
Most people first met John J. "Buck" O'Neil through Ken Burns' 1994 documentary Baseball. The then 83-year old retired coach, manager and Negro League ballplayer was Burns' window on the history of his league and its stars for people who may have only vaguely known that baseball once was segregated but nothing about the men who played on the other side of that color line.

O'Neil played most of his baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs and retired as an active player when the team was sold in 1955
Jun 08, 2011 Chip'sBookBinge rated it it was amazing
Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm a Baseball fanatic. And every year, I always watch Ken Burns' Baseball documentary, usually at the start of Spring Training or at the beginning of the regular Baseball season. That's the case yet again this year. The only thing that's different this time is that instead of watching it once, I decided to watch the entire 9 innings again along with the the sequel The Tenth Inning as well.

The reason why I love this series comes down to not just the sport itself,
Ryan Pace
Apr 08, 2015 Ryan Pace rated it it was amazing
The best baseball book you can read...period. I had the pleasure of calling Buck O'Neil a friend from the time I was 9 (1989) until he passed away in 2006. You couldn't wish to meet a more genuine and kind person and this book reflects on the life of such a man. Buy this book for the baseball stories because they're wonderful. Read it again for the human story which is even more wonderful.
Jun 04, 2015 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A five star memoir from a five star man. We came to know him thru Ken Burns. In turn we came to know better the history of the Negro Leagues. For his playing days, for his coaching and managing, for the good ambassador he was to the sport he loved, for his humanity - put him in the Hall of Fame!
Michael Hermann
Oct 14, 2014 Michael Hermann rated it really liked it
If you love baseball, or if you know anything about Buck O'Neil, hell even if you don't, this book is well worth the time to check out. I felt like I was sitting and listening to my grandfather tell stories about the good old days. O'Neil did a great job conveying how he felt about growing up during segregation and his part in helping break down the barriers between cultures. For me the best part was during the whole book, Mr. O'Neil never seemed to be bitter or resentful of the people from the ...more
Timid Tiffany
Feb 12, 2012 Timid Tiffany rated it liked it
The book, I was Right On Time, was a good book. I thought that it was be more along the lines of Buck O'Neil's life, but it was mostly about his teammates in the negro leagues and where he traveled to. The book was around a 3.5/5 mostly because it was better than what i had expected, and kind of interesting. Buck O'Neil had a very interesting life with moving from team to team in the leagues. I amazed how he was the first African-American manager for a MLB team. Overall, I would recommend this b ...more
Dick Hamilton
Jan 23, 2016 Dick Hamilton rated it really liked it
Wonderful stories, I only wish the book was longer.
Jan 31, 2008 Tracey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tracey by: my partner
you don't have to be a baseball historian to thoroughly enjoy this book. what impressed me most about "I Was Right On Time" was the way that Mr. O'Neil shared his memories; his conversational style totally reminded me of sitting with my grandparents as they talked about their lives...just telling it like it was. in person or over the airwaves, to hear Mr. O'Neil tell a story was a true delight. Kansas City is *still* heartbroken over his passing, but as you'll learn when you read this book, what ...more
Michael Brown
Apr 18, 2009 Michael Brown rated it it was amazing
What a great book. How I would have loved to just sit with Buck and just talk and listen to him and his stories. I also learned some new things about Sarasota, FL and all the great players in the Negro Leagues and people in general. Now more than ever I believe he is a Hall of Famer and he should be in there. He might not have been the greatest player... but he was a GREAT man. If you want to read a great book that will make you laugh.. smile.. maybe tear up... this book is for you.
Apr 13, 2013 DT rated it liked it
You might remember Mr. O'Neil as the inspired voice of the Negro Leagues in Ken Burns' "Baseball" documentary a few years back. There are some exceptional stories in his book about what Burns called "shadowball." If you're looking to learn a little bit about Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston (the man inveterate racist Ty Cobb said was the greatest ballplayer he ever saw) from a joyful voice, this is a good place to start.
Jan 22, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
One of the best baseball books I've read in quite a while. Every baseball fan should read this book.
Mar 22, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Josh by: Museum Staff
An excellent read, on the history of black baseball, told by a great American hero and his first hand experiences... I would recommend this book for everyone to read, even if you are not a huge baseball fan. I would also recommend everyone at some time in your life to visit the great Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in KC, MO.
May 27, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
Buck O'Neil is as charming on the page as he is in Ken Burns' Baseball, and he gets to go into a lot more detail on how baseball has changed over the course of his life. You probably already know whether or not you like Buck O'Neil (and he's a hard man not to like), if you like him, you'll like this.
Lee Ann
I loved the history and matter of fact presentation of Buck O'Neil of this, one of my favorite parts of our history. The Negro Leagues and civil rights from perspectives of those who made a difference. I loaned this book out and never saw it again, so I hope it is still being shared.
May 24, 2008 Cyndi rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, baseball
Buck O'Neil was a great guy. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005. Unfortunately, his warmth and wit did not really shine through in this book.
May 21, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
A nice book from one of the nice guys of sports. Buck O'Neil played in the Negro Leagues and has great stories and some good advice --- for ballplayers and for the rest of us.
Jul 22, 2008 Hillary rated it liked it
very easy reading. Breezed through the book. Great account of a Negro League ball player who worked in many facets of MLB after his playing days were over.
Adam  Myer
Jan 14, 2010 Adam Myer rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I aspire to have the outlook on life that Buck had, even though I have had less than 1% of the trials he faced.
Feb 24, 2010 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Perfect reading for black history month and a good way to ready for the start of spring training!
Oct 10, 2007 Noah rated it liked it
Light-hearted and wonderfully told. It's as close to a book-on-tape with actual pages as there is.
Jan 08, 2010 columbialion rated it it was amazing
Recommended to columbialion by: Self
Great stories from beloved baseball ambassador Buck O'Neil
Carol Storm
Sep 15, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
A great story about a real American hero!
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“Depending on how he gripped the ball and how hard he threw it, Satchel Paige had pitches that included the bat-dodger, the two-hump blooper, the four-day creeper, the dipsy-do, the Little Tom, the Long Tom, the bee ball, the wobbly ball, the hurry-up ball and the nothin’ ball.” 0 likes
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