ME AND MY DAD: A Baseball Memoir

Paul O'Neill, Author, Burton Rocks, With with Burton Rocks. Morrow $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-052405-0

As every Yankee fan knows, the New York right fielder was devoted to his father, Chick, who he describes as "my childhood hero, my pal, and my mentor." It was Chick who imbued his son, the youngest of six children, with the love of all sports, particularly baseball. It was also his father's hard work, O'Neill writes in this sentimental memoir, that created an idyllic childhood for the youngest O'Neill, when summers in Columbus, Ohio, were filled with baseball games coached by his father and where winter brought hockey games on a homemade ice rink in the family backyard. Life for the youngest O'Neill was so ideal that he was drafted by his favorite team, the nearby Cincinnati Reds, and he married his childhood sweetheart, Nevalee. Then in 1993 he was traded to the Yankees; as the heart and soul of the team during his nine years in New York, O'Neill won four World Series and became a fan favorite. O'Neill's most bittersweet series was in 1999, when his father was critically ill and died the day before the final game, and O'Neill's memories of this period are particularly moving. This autobiography is more about relationships than events, and entire years in early in O'Neill's career are summed up in a sentence or two. Unlike his former teammate David Wells, this does not have a bad word to say about anyone (including Wells) or anything connected to baseball. While his fans may have expected some fireworks from the fiery Yankee, O'Neill proves himself to be a dedicated player devoted to his family and baseball. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 06/01/2003
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