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 ninety-four-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.
“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.”