KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat at Kauffman Stadium had a familiar face in it for the Kansas City Royals’ season finale.
Troy Collier, principal of Lakemary School at the Lakemary Center in Paola, was recognized as the Royals played the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, Oct. 3.
Collier coached the Paola Lady Panther softball team, leading the club to state several times.
“I was really surprised when I got the call saying that Lakemary had nominated me to sit in the Buck O’Neil seat,” Collier said. “I am a big baseball fan, and I couldn’t believe that I got the opportunity to represent not only Lakemary, but also my hometown Paola as well.
“Lakemary is a very rewarding place to work,” he said. “All of the staff I work with are so committed to our students we serve. I can never tell them how much I appreciate them. I am blessed to get to work for a great organization.”
Collier took his son Jensen to the game with him.
Troy and Lisa Collier have three children: Jenna, Jacie and Jensen.
The Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat is the only red seat in Kauffman Stadium. It is the seat O’Neil used while scouting for the Kansas City Royals for many years.
The Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat continues to be one of the greatest Kansas City honors for individuals impacting the community. While Buck loved baseball, his love of this city and its people was always at the forefront, say those who knew him.
Buck O’Neil played and managed for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. He spent many years educating others about the rich history of the league.
O’Neil was also the first black coach in Major League baseball, working with the Chicago Cubs.