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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Overcome with emotion, Paul O'Neill couldn't step to the podium during his father, Chick's, funeral in October 1999. But nearly four years later, O'Neill -- a former star outfielder with the New York Yankees and the youngest of Chick and Virginia O'Neill's six children -- has delivered a touching eulogy to his father in his autobiography, Me and My Dad.
O'Neill proves as adept at spinning a charming and rich yarn as he was at getting a dramatic hit when his team needed him most. Me and My Dad reads as if it were told around the fireplace, and O'Neill's descriptions of Sunday morning family breakfasts and the dank hallway running behind Fenway Park's "Green Monster" are impressively evocative.
O'Neill regularly recalls his days with the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds, but Me and My Dad is mostly about O'Neill's worship of his father, a former minor league pitcher who loved baseball almost as much as his family. The famously self-critical O'Neill never inherited his father's sunny optimism -- every 0-for-5 day left O'Neill wondering if he'd ever get another hit -- but the elder O'Neill's supportive ways not only filled his son with the belief he could succeed at baseball's highest level but also prepared Paul for fatherhood.
O'Neill writes, "There may be no greater gift than having someone else believe [a dream] with you." Indeed, Me and My Dad will move anyone who has ever been lucky enough to experience a father's unconditional love and support. Jerry Beach