Morehead City, N.C. – The Morehead City Marlins and the Town of Morehead City lost a generous and dear friend. V.J. ’Puck’ O’Neal died at his home on Thursday at the age of 92.
Throughout his life, ‘Puck’ O’Neal made many charitable donations. None were more significant than helping Morehead City build its own recreational complex at Rotary Park on Mayberry Loop Road. Opening this past summer, Puck O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium was the center of community enjoyment and interaction. On May 28th, the Marlins inaugural season home opening game, a record crowd of 2,146 were in attendance to witness ‘Puck’ O’Neal throw out the first ball along with Morehead City town representatives. On this day, O’Neal finally had the opportunity to see his vision come to life with the support of many cheering fans. “Thank you very much and play ball,” said O’Neal after his first pitch.
As a sports enthusiast, O’Neal shared a passion for baseball along many Morehead City residents, in particular American Legion baseball. His contributions to ‘Puck’ O’Neal Field will undoubtedly improve Carteret County’s recreational activities and overall entertainment significantly. ‘Puck’ O’Neal Field will have an everlasting social effect in Carteret County and will serve as a monument to O’Neal’s generosity and vision.
“Puck O’Neal will forever be remembered as an important member of the Morehead City Marlins family”, said Marlins Vice President, Buddy Bengel. “His support and grateful contribution have provided a home for the Marlins baseball team for many years to come. Our organization will make the necessary plans to give Mr. O’Neal the recognition he deserves next season. The Morehead City Marlins would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the O'Neal Family. His memory and name will forever be remembered at Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium.”