MARION, IL (KFVS) - An 85-year-old Marion resident tossed out the first pitch at the Illinois Miner's game for Military Appreciation Night on July 4.
Melvin "Buck" Duncan is a U.S. Army veteran and a former professional baseball player.
Duncan says baseball taught him an important life lesson.
"Treat everybody the same. And you'll succeed in baseball. But you can't dislike you and like this other man over here," Duncan said. "No, love everybody the same. That's right."
Duncan says he still has an immense love for baseball.
"It didn't matter, white or black. I wanted to play ball. And, I didn't care where I played," Duncan said. "I didn't care nothing about the league. I didn't care nothing about the club. Because, as far as I'm concerned, I played in the major league. I played in the Negro League."
Duncan was a pitcher in the Negro American League. He played for the Kansas City Monarch's in 1949. Three years later he went on to play for the Detroit Stars. Duncan also played for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
He later went on to work at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and later retired in 2000.