Negro Leagues icon Buck O'Neil takes turn for the worse

Friday, September 29th 2006, 8:56 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Negro Leagues icon Buck O'Neil took a turn for the worse overnight but was resting comfortably in a Kansas City hospital Friday morning, friends said.

O'Neil, 94, was admitted to the hospital Sept. 17 with extreme fatigue. O'Neil, one of the driving forces in the creation of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, has also lost his voice and is able to speak only in a whisper.

Bob Kendrick, marketing director for the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, said Friday morning there had been no change in his condition overnight.

``The last report I got was that he was still very much aware of what's going on around him,'' Kendrick said. ``We hope that remains the same and the outlook will be good.''

A former Negro Leagues batting champion and player-manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, O'Neil holds many distinctions in his long career. In February, he fell just one vote short of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.