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Paul O'Neill
1999 Topps Chrome #416
2000 Topps Stadium Club #45

  • 5× All-Star (1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998)
  • 5× World Series champion (1990, 1996, 1998–2000)
  • AL batting champion (1994)
  • New York Yankees No. 21 retired
  • Yankee Stadium Monument Park honoree
  • 2x Top Ten in Position Player WAR (1994, 1998)
  • 3x Top Ten in OBP in AL (1994, 1996, 1997)

"Hitting is a lot more than just picking up a bat and swinging it. You've got to be observant, evaluate the situation, know the pitcher and his tendencies, and know yourself. If you want to be successful, you have to become a student." - Paul O'Neill

Paul Andrew O'Neill (born February 25, 1963 in Columbus, OH) is an American former baseball right fielder who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). His mother, Virginia, was a medical technician who raised the six O’Neill children – one girl and five boys – of whom Paul was the youngest. His father, Charles ‘Chick’ O’Neill, ran his own excavation business, but his true passion was baseball. A former minor league pitcher whose own father played professional baseball, “Chick” O’Neill passed on his knowledge of, and love for, the National Pastime to all six of his children. Paul’s great-grandfather, a Nebraska homesteader, married Mary Clemens, a cousin to Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to posterity as Mark Twain. Paul’s sister Molly is a food critic for The New York Times.

Paul was signed as a 4th round pick in the 1981 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds scout Gene Bennett and he played for the Cincinnati Reds (1985–1992) and New York Yankees (1993–2001) over a 17 year career. He compiled 281 home runs, 1,269 runs batted in, 2,107 hits, and a lifetime batting average of .288. He won the American League batting title in 1994 with a .359 average. He was a five-time World Series champion and a five-time All-Star (1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998). He is the only player to have played on the winning team in three perfect games.

Yankee fans will remember his two triples in the 2000 World Series, the walk he fought for in the 12th inning of Game 1, fouling off endless nastiness from Armando Benitez of the New York Mets, and the memory of his angry fight with his own age and decline – the double he hit late in the tied, brutal, developing classic of a Game 7 in 2001, the double in the gap where he willed his injured knees and thirty-nine-year-old body spinning around second base, charging desperately for third where he could have scored on a fly ball to give the team the lead and coming up a foot short, limping back to the dugout with his head down in disgust.

His strong temper is also evident in another famous clip, this one dating back to his time with the Reds, in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 5, 1989. With the score 2-2 in the 10th inning and runner Steve Jeltz on second base, Lenny Dykstra hit a ball that dropped in front of him in right field. He knew that he had to make a quick throw to the plate, but bobbled the ball twice, then, in anger, he kicked at it with his left foot, thinking the game was lost. But, lo and behold, Jeltz had slipped on his way to third base and the ball went straight to first baseman Todd Benzinger, preventing Jeltz from scoring... the play lives on forever in baseball lore.

After retiring, O’Neill returned home to Ohio, where he resides with his wife and three children. Since 2002, O’Neill has worked as an in-game color commentator and analyst for the New York Yankees YES Network. He appeared on the hit TV show "Seinfeld" as himself.

On August 9, 2014 the Yankees dedicated a plaque to O'Neill inside Monument Park. In 2022, they retired his uniform number, 21, on August 21st. He was the 24th player in team history to receive such an honor.

A proven winner who played the game hard, Paul gave everything he had in every game. A fan favorite, The Warrior is also a favorite of Baseball Amore.

(excerpted from Baseball AlmanacBR BullpenSABR & Wikipedia)

1988 Topps #204
1992 Topps Stadium Club #175
1994 Topps #546
1994 Topps Stadium Club #74
1996 Topps #284
1997 Topps #247
1998 Topps #322
1998 Yankee Stadium 75th Anniversary #21
1999 Bowman Chrome #20
2001 Topps #30
2002 Upper Deck Vintage #119
2014 Topps Allen & Ginter #201
2016 Topps Allen & Ginter #280
2021 Topps Baseball Stars #BSA-PO (autographed)

Other Baseball Amore Non-Italian Favorites:

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One thought on “Paul O’Neill: “The Warrior,” 5x All-Star, 5x World Series Champion

  1. Warren Roesner says:


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