The award honors individuals who have enhanced baseball’s positive impact on society, broadened the game’s appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O’Neil. The Hall created the award in 2007 to honor former Negro leaguer O’Neil, who spent eight decades in baseball. O’Neil received the first award in 2008.
The Hall’s Board of Directors present the award no more than once every three years. Longtime baseball executive Roland Hemond, now Special Assistant to the President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, won in 2011.
Nominations must be submitted in writing and should detail how the proposed candidate carries O’Neil’s extraordinary traits. Nominations are open from the general public, at any time, and may be submitted to: Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Only submissions received by mail will be considered.