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Buck Leonard

  • American athlete
  • Born September 8, 1907
  • Died November 27, 1997

Walter Fenner "Buck" Leonard (September 8, 1907 – November 27, 1997) was an American first baseman in Negro league baseball and in the Mexican League. After growing up in North Carolina, he played for the Homestead Grays between 1934 and 1950, batting fourth behind Josh Gibson for many years. The Grays teams of the 1930s and 1940s were considered some of the best teams in Negro league history. Leonard never played in Major League Baseball (MLB); he declined a 1952 offer of an MLB contract because he felt he was too old.


We in the Negro leagues felt like we were contributing something to baseball, too, when we were playing. We played with a round ball, and we played with a round bat. And we wore baseball uniforms, and we thought that we were making a contribution to baseball. We loved the game, and we liked to play it.




In the Negro Leagues, I played every day.




I was not bitter by not being allowed to play in the major leagues. I just said, 'The time has not come.'




I only wish I could have played in the big leagues when I was young enough to show what I could do. When an offer was given to me to join up, I was too old, and I knew it.



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