Respect the voters' opinions
It's only appropriate to respect the opinions of the voters who didn't believe that Buck O'Neil measured up to the Hall of Fame's standards.
Thus, for the first time ever, the hall handed over the voting to a panel of baseball historians and scholars with no affiliation to the major leagues or the hall. This was an extraordinary move for the Hall of Fame. They usually protect the hall the way tigers protect their cubs. There was not one former player on the committee and not one person who actually observed the Negro Leagues. The committee was given no boundaries -- they were told to vote for as many people as they saw fit.
They certainly voted free. By dumping 17 persons into the Hall of Fame, they matched the number of persons inducted into the hall the past seven years. But when it came to why Buck was left out, no one was talking.
"I don't think the individuals are going to be willing to discuss their individual votes," said Fay Vincent, who served as a nonvoting chairman of the committee. "We agreed we would not do that."