Dreaming Of The Majors: Living In The Bush.

Lefty O'Neal Is A Rare White Veteran of the Negro Leagues.

Yesterday I heard from Lefty O’Neal, the rare white veteran of Negro League baseball who wrote a book last year on his improbable experiences in baseball. We have not been in contact for quite a while, but it was good to hear from the man again.I’ve never met the man face-to-face, but I did read his manuscript over the time he was searching for a publisher.

All I can really say is – Lefty writes honestly from the heart. His little book with the long, long title, “Dreaming of the Majors: Living in the Bush,” is a wide open testament to his faith, spirit,and ability to play the game. I won’t go into the details here of how a white guy came about playing in the Negro Leagues because that’s a big part of the book, but I will say that no gets to an accomplishment on that level without possessing the “miles and miles and miles of heart” that are described in the lead song from “Damn Yankees.” Dick “Lefty” O’Neal had all the heart one could hope to pump into the chase of such a dream and he got there – by the Grace of God and with the help of a legion of fairly earth-bound angels.

Houston Astros icon Larry Dierker put O’Neal’s journey in this perspective: “O’Neal will take you on an ironic tour of race relations on the diamond: as Lefty becomes the mirror image of Jackie Robinson, playing as the only white guy on a Negro League team.”

Former major leaguer and recent hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers expressed these thoughts on O’Neal’s story: “His writings are a pleasure and a joy to read.” Merv Johnson, a former assistant  college baseball coach at both Arkansas and Oklahoma put it well for what it is: “This book is a must read for anyone who has a dream.”

You don’t read Lefty’s book for great literature. You read it as a clearly stated map on where the forces of faith, hope, and love can take us if we are simply willing to hear the call of the Holy Spirit and lean all the way into the job of doing our part to get there.

Dick “Lefty” O’Neal listened and then did what he had to do. Along the way, he met the earth-bound army of angels who helped him overcome doubt and complete the journey.

Who is Dick “Lefty” O’Neal? For starters, he’s a retired United States Air Force officer with twenty years past service to his credit. He is now an adjunct professor in the speech communication field,  part-time corporate training consultant, a motivational speaker, a board member for the San Antonio Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and, last but not least, he is Vice President of the SOuth Texas Professional Baseball Negro League Players Association.

Lefty O’Neal and his wife Harriett have been married for more than 36 years and they have two adult children, Amy and Richard Adam. The O’Neal family makes their home in Universal City, Texas.

O’Neal’s inspirational book is available online through Amazon and by order from such booksellers as Borders and Barnes and Noble. You may also order from the publisher, WinePressBooks.Com. The cost is $14.99, plus tax and shipping.

Some people do great things for the sake of directly helping the human condition. Others serve as the objects of personal example to others. Some do both. Meet Dick “Lefty” O’Neal.

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2 Responses to “Dreaming Of The Majors: Living In The Bush.”

  1. Dick "Lefty" O'Neal Says:

    As usual you have a way with words and what ever you can do to push the book will be greatly appreciated. Maybre when I come over for a game with the Astros I could do a book signing and finally meet you.
    God Speed Bill


    • Bill McCurdy Says:


      Be clear. I don’t “push” anyone’s work. I may recommend a book if I think it’s honest, worthwhile, and deserving. Your book flies on all three counts. That’s why I think many may like your unusual baseball life story, whether they buy the book or check it out of the library. Take care. Regards, Bill

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