Happy anniversary to that time Paul O'Neill turned baseball into soccer to save a game for the Reds
That time Paul O'Neill kicked a ball from RF to 1B
We all know that Bo Jackson knows football and baseball ... and basketball and hockey and surfing and competitive cycling. But -- back in 1989 -- baseball had another multi-sport star and his name was Paul O'Neill.
Still a few years away from being traded to the Yankees, O'Neill spent July 5, 1989 manning right field for the Reds at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. In the bottom of the tenth, with Phillies second baseman Steve Jeltz on second, Lenny Dykstra lined a single through a hole on the right side.
O'Neill bobbled the ball and -- thinking that Jeltz had rounded third and scored on the misplay -- kicked it in frustration. Except Jeltz hadn't scored and the ball sailed right to Reds first baseman Todd Benzinger, effectively forcing the Phils to hold Jeltz at third.
As though O'Neill's fancy footwork wasn't strange enough, the game ended when Jeltz scored on a walk-off passed ball because this game was basically an episode of "The Twilight Zone."
This article has been corrected to reflect that the kick took place in the bottom of the tenth inning, not the ninth.