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White Baseball Player Joins Negro League, Crosses Racial Color Line

Contact: Abigail Davidson, Publicist, WinePress Publishing, 360-802-9758, abigail@winepressgroup.com

ENUMCLAW, Wash., May 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- "My parents taught me that there are no color issues in the eye of the Lord, so I didn't have a problem trying out [for the team]."

It was 1972. Baseball nut Dick "Lefty" O'Neal, who had just enlisted in the Air Force, learned that his salary was so small that he and his bride qualified for food stamps. "I heard that the Negro League was looking for a left-handed pitcher," he says. "I tried out because I would get paid to play, and those funds would put food on the table."

As O'Neal relates in his book, "Dreaming of the Majors-Living in the Bush," he also hoped the opportunity would open doors for him to fulfill his lifelong dream to play major league baseball. But God had other plans for him, including a chance to cross the racial "color line" of the 1970s.

O'Neal would later hold the distinction of being the only white baseball player to pitch for two teams in the Negro Leagues. Rising in the ranks from amateur and college standout, he earned a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals before playing for the Biloxi Dodgers in the Gulf Coast Negro League and the San Antonio Black Sox in the South Texas Negro League.

"Yes, there was still prejudice in baseball," O'Neal says, "even though Jackie Robinson had crossed the color line some thirty years earlier. Initially, the other black teams didn't appreciate the presence of me and a couple of other white players, especially on the road. . . . Our teammates and management, however, accepted us well and took care of us when we traveled. We were truly a baseball family."

Though O'Neal never fulfilled his major league dream, he knows that God's plans are best. "This book should convince us that Christ's plan for us is much more fulfilling than what we could ever imagine."

For more information, to request a review copy of "Dreaming of the Majors-Living in the Bush" or to schedule an interview, please contact Abigail Davidson by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at abigail@winepressgroup.com, or by fax at 360-802-9992. To purchase a copy of this book, visit www.winepressbooks.com or call 877-421-7323.