Lefty shares lesson with Wayland students

January 29, 2015

PLAINVIEW – Dick “Lefty” O’Neal made the rounds at Wayland Baptist University on Wednesday, talking to students in chapel, class and on the baseball field, sharing lessons he has learned about life and the importance of depending and trusting completely in God.

O’Neal, a left-handed pitcher, was the only white man to ever play in the South Texas Negro League, and was one of only three white men to play in a Negro League in Mississippi. His love for baseball drove him to play wherever he got the chance, and his love for God sustained him and guided him throughout the process.

O’Neal has chronicled his story in his autobiography, Dreaming of the MajorsLiving in the Bush, which is scheduled to be made into a motion picture and released in 2016. O’Neal is working with a production company and wouldn’t give out a lot of information about the movie as things are pending, waiting on contracts and funding. He did say, however, that several actors have contacted the production company with an interest in working on the film, including Kevin Sorbo, who is known his portrayal of Hercules in the popular television series, as well as his more recent work in movies such as “God’s Not Dead.” Bruce Boxleitner, Geena Davis and Karen Allen have also expressed interest in the film, as well as Christian rapper Lecrae. No actors have yet been signed for the project which is scheduled to go into production later this year.

While baseball was his first love, O’Neal also played college football as a kicker and traveled with the popular singing group Up With People as a teenager in the late 1960s and spent more than 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Major. He currently works as an adjunct professor of communication and is a scout for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

O’Neal spoke at two public sessions in which he passed along several lessons he has learned throughout life, including: Belief makes everything possible, never say never, everything has a price, give before you get, and love what you do, or do something else. He summed it up with his self-penned equation that true dependence plus complete surrender equals true peace.

“When we reflect on the past, but keep our eyes on the future, we see value even in the things we regret,” O’Neal said. “We don’t earn His grace. He gives it to us and only His grace can win the game of life.”

If you would like to purchase one of Lefty’s books, contact Micheal Summers at 291-3407, who has a limited supply to sell. The book is also available on Amazon.com. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes scholarship fund.