On Saturday, Paul O'Neill will have his day at Yankee Stadium when he is honored by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park for his time with the team.
Dubbed "The Warrior" by late owner George Steinbrenner, O'Neill embodied everything fans love about a Yankees player; he played with all heart and even wore his emotions on his sleeve; a few water coolers can attest to that notion. Just hours prior to Game 4 of the 1999 World Series, O'Neill's father passed away and some thought Joe Torre would keep him out of the lineup, but O'Neill played on and helped his team win that game against the Atlanta Braves and that year's World Series. O'Neill was a big part of four World Series Championship teams (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000) and was almost part of a fifth one in 2001.
In his final season of 2001, O'Neill was playing his final game at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the score at 2-0, the fans knew that the game could be over and it would be the last time they would see O'Neill in pinstripes, so during the top of the ninth inning, the fans at the old Yankee Stadium chanted "Paul O'Neill" over and over throughout the entire inning to honor one of their favorite players.
Scott Brosius ended up tying the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and Alfonso Soriano won the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 12th to give the Yankees a 3-2 win and gave the Yankees a 3-2 series lead heading back to Arizona; the Diamondbacks unfortunately took the next two out in the desert.
13 years later after that final game, O'Neill will forever have his name and face as part of the Yankee Stadium history with his plaque gracing Monument Park that fans can visit when they come to the stadium and see the historical landmark in the Bronx.
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Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Paul O'Neill