A note to all future PR people: When you are organizing efforts to get a monument made honoring someone, you might want to make sure you spell the person’s name correctly on the monument! It’s probably worth an extra proofread.
This monument, for legendary ballplayer Buck O’Neil, went up a few weeks ago in Forest Hill Cemetery,with the glaring error of his last name being spelled incorrectly.
The plaque was placed a mere 500 feet from O’Neil’s burial plot which means, if you listen very closely, you can actually view the mistake while hearing Buck roll over in his grave.
I’ve been meaning to say something about Buck’s monument at Forest Hill since visiting it earlier this month. Maybe it’s just the old-school journalist in me, but I am embarrassed that the lettering on the gravestone has at least two obvious and needless typographical errors on it. As you will see below, one of the typos is Buck O’Neil’s own name.
Now, my guess is that 99.5 percent of people looking at that memorial will not even register that “O’Neal” is the spelling of Shaquille’s name, not Buck’s. But that doesn’t make it any less egregious a mistake, not to mention really, really dumb. I can, and do, fix errors on this site all the time. But it’s not made of granite. SI Memorials, which co-sponsored the site, should never have let something like this slip by them.
Even in death, Buck O’Neil is having trouble getting the respect he deserves.
This typo is merely the latest example of the poor literacy plaguing America, specifically when it comes to creating monuments to our sports heroes. Thank goodness “Spelling on Sports Monuments” isn’t an Olympic sport, or Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would kick our ass. And that’s just embarrassing.