Leonard, Buck

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Leonard, Buck

(Walter Fenner Leonard), 1907–1997, African-American baseball player, b. Rocky Mount, N.C. Beginning in 1933, he played semiprofessional ball with the Baltimore Stars and the Brooklyn Royal Giants. An outstanding first baseman and powerful left-handed hitter who, because he was black, was barred from the major leagues, Leonard played for Pittsburgh's Homestead Grays (1934–50), helping them win nine consecutive Negro National League pennants (1937–45). He hit 42 home runs in 1942 and batted .320 during his career. Leonard later played in the Mexican League (1951–55). He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1995).

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References in periodicals archive ?
When he spoke, he took you places; your mind drifted as he waxed eloquently over the giants of the Negro leagues, including Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Ray Dandridge, Buck Leonard and Cool Papa Bell.
Park in Chicago by showcasing marquee names, including first baseman Buck Leonard and pitcher Smokey Joe Williams, and generated the most revenues and coverage from the white press.
Ruble's book is a history of an urban space, a community--of black/white relations and "contact" among strangers; of the neighborhood's "most celebrated offspring," musician Duke Ellington, and also of the great baseball player, Buck Leonard; of historically black Howard University and segregated Griffith Stadium; and, especially, of jazz, poetry, modern dance, historical studies, civil rights activism, and other ways of "making the world richer and purer by adding more beauty to it."
The infield consists of Buck Leonard at first base, Willie Wells at second base, Ray Dandridge at third base, and young Artie Wilson at shortstop.
Like Shelby Foote (the Civil War historian) and Buck Leonard (the old ballplayer), who achieved greater fame after appearing in Ken Burns documentaries, Al McIntosh may become something of a household name this fall when Burns' epic series on World War II airs on PBS.
The Grays, of course, for years fielded teams featuring legendary greats such as Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. Showing their skills at Griffith Stadium, the team won nine Negro League world championships over a 10 year span--a record that may never be equaled in any team sport again.
But baseball in the Negro Leagues wasn't subpar; it was baseball at its best, and it produced some of the game's most talented players, including Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, William (Judy) Johnson, Buck Leonard, Leon Day, Buck Leonard, Buck O'Neil and Cool Papa Bell.
The Homestead Grays of the old "Negro League,' team of the legendary Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson, played frequently at Griffith Stadium into the 1940s, and when Satchel Paige and the rest of the Kansas City Monarchs came to town, they would outdraw the Senators several times over.
There is a special exhibit honoring the seven North Carolina players who have been inducted into the national Hall of Fame: Catfish Hunter, Hoyt Wilhelm, Gaylord Perry, Enos Slaughter, Rick Ferrell, Buck Leonard and Luke Appling.
In addition, Black Baseball provides background information on the eleven Negro League World Series contests and separate biographies of select legends, including Buck Leonard, Martin Dihigo, and, of course, Rube Foster, Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson.
The offensive stars include first basemen Mark Grace and Buck Leonard. The chapter on the "All South Carolina" team is set up similarly to its northern partner; however, its players seem to be more offensive stars while its starting pitching is weaker.
Buck Leonard ranked right up there with Satch and Josh.