American baseball player (b. Nov. 13, 1911, Carrabelle, Fla.-d. Oct. 6, 2006, Kansas City, Mo.), starred as a player and manager in the Negro Leagues. He debuted as a first baseman for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1938 and twice led the Negro American League in batting average. He was the team's manager from 1948 to 1955. In 1956 he was hired as a scout for the Chicago Cubs and helped the team sign Hall of Fame players Ernie Banks and Lou Brock. In 1962 the Cubs made him the first African American coach in Major League Baseball. His leading role in Ken Burns's 1994 television documentary Baseball made O'Neil, as he put it, "an overnight sensation at age 82." He served as chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum from its creation in 1990 until his death. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.
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|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
|an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.|
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