When Legendary Negro League player Buck O'Neil asked sports columnist Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, Posnanski had to think about it. From that question was born the idea behind BASEBALL AND JAZZ. Posnanski and the 94 year old O'Neil decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country in hopes of stirring up the love that first drew them to the game. This book is just as much the story of Buck O'Neil as it is the story of baseball. In a time when disillusioned, steroid–shooting, money hungry athletes define the sport, Buck O'Neil stands out as a man that truly played for the love of the game. Posnanski writes about that love and the one thing that O'Neil loved almost as much as baseball: jazz. BASEBALL AND JAZZ is an endearing step back in time to the days when the crack of a bat and the smoky notes of a midnight jam session were the sounds that brought the most joy to a man's heart.
“Posnanski masterfully conveys O’Neil’s charisma and the rhythm of his words...A worthy paean to an American legend.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This book is flat-out terrific...If Gandhi had played baseball, he would have been Buck O’Neill.”
-Leigh Montville, author of Big Bam and Ted Williams
“[A] poignant, very funny, and ultimately inspiring book.”
“Imagine, a year spent with Buck O’Neil...you don’t have to imagine it, it’s all here.”
“[A] loving, lyrical effort by Joe Posnanski. One of the most original and winning baseball books in recent years.”