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Buck knew how to make your day

Updated: October 9, 2006, 3:55 AM ET
By Steve Wulf | ESPN The Magazine

In September of 1994, there was a reception on the White House lawn for the premiere of Ken Burns' "Baseball" series on PBS. A hundred or so people milled about, chatting, dining, trying out the speed-pitch booth. But there was a constant knot of folks around one charismatic man -- Buck O'Neil. President Clinton? Eclipsed by Buck, he was off by himself, grazing the buffet table.

Buck O'Neil was a pretty good first baseman in the Negro leagues, a close friend of Satchel Paige, a mentor ...

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