O'Neil became the first black coach in the major
leagues in 1962 when the Cubs signed him to work with their
infielders. Former Monarch owner, Tom Baird, praised O'Neil:
"O'Neil was a real leader. All the
players respected him. He gave sound advice and seldom raised
his voice when a player made a mistake. He's a credit to baseball
and deserves the honor of becoming the first Negro coach in
major league baseball."