Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Warrior: Paul O'Neill 6/2/19

Hey baseball fans!

As you should know, I love the New York Yankees, so I've naturally seen a lot of their games on TV. The play-by-play announcer for YES Network, the television home of the Yankees, is Michael Kay, and he is joined by a gaggle of color commentators, all with some connection to the Yankee franchise. But by far, my favorite YES Network color commentator is Paul "The Warrior" O'Neill.

Paul was drafted in the fourth round of the 1981 MLB Draft by his favorite team growing up, the Cincinnati Reds. He became a regular in the Reds lineup in 1988, three years after making his major league debut in 1985. O'Neill was a hitter who got better as he got older, as he made his first All Star Game in 1991, hitting 28 home runs and collecting 91 RBIs. After the 1992 season, O'Neill was traded to the Yankees and that's when he became a household name. From 1993-2001, all with New York, Paul averaged 21 homers and 95 RBIs a season and batted .303 over that span.

O'Neill never batted under .280 with the Yanks until 2001, the last year of his career. He also went six straight years of 90 or more RBIs per season, which took place from 1995-2000. There are two years worth mentioning in particular regarding O'Neill's time in the Bronx. First, in the strike-shortened 1994 season, O'Neill led the American League with a career-high .359 batting average and 83 RBIs in only 103 games, leading him to a fifth-place finish in the MVP voting of that season. But O'Neill's best season came in 1998. In a year in which the Yanks won 114 games, Paul made his fifth and final career All Star Game by batting .317 with 24 homers and 116 RBIs, helping the Yankees to the World Series. Speaking of which, O'Neill didn't put on a huge showing in the World Series (even though he's a five-time champ), except in 2000 against the Mets, when he batted .474 with nine hits in the five-game set.

I have two pieces of information for you before I finish this post. First of all, click here to see Paul O'Neill's coolest career play. Second, did you know that the Warrior is the only hitter in baseball history to be on the winning side of three perfect games? He even made the final out of David Wells' perfecto in 1998. Well, as they say, the more you know... Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

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