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Swing and a Hit: Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me

Swing and a Hit: Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me

by Paul O'Neill, Jack Curry

Unabridged — 7 hours, 15 minutes

Paul O'Neill
Swing and a Hit: Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me

Swing and a Hit: Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me

by Paul O'Neill, Jack Curry

Unabridged — 7 hours, 15 minutes

Paul O'Neill

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The fun and fiery memoir of All Star Yankee and five-time World Champion, Paul O'Neill.

In SWING AND A HIT, O'Neill elaborates on his most important hitting principles, lessons and memories-exploring these elements across 10 chapters (to align with the nine innings of a baseball game and one extra inning). Here, O'Neill, with his fiery temperament, describes what he did as a hitter, how he adjusted to pitchers, how he boosted his confidence, how he battled with umpires and (water coolers) and what advice he would give to current hitters.

O'Neill has always been a tough out at the plate. Recalling how he started to swing a bat competitively as a 5-year old and kept swinging it professionally until he was 38, O'Neill provides constant insights into the beauty and the frustration of playing baseball. The legendary Ted Williams said using a round bat to hit a round ball is the most difficult thing to do in sports. Naturally, O'Neill, who once received a surprise call from Williams that was filled with hitting advice, agrees.

SWING AND A HIT features O'Neill's best insights and offers clubhouse stories from some of the biggest names in Major League Baseball-hitters, managers, and teammates like Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Pete Rose and Bernie Williams.

Remember, O'Neill, ever the perfectionist, is the type of hitter who believes that pitchers didn't ever get him out. For that reason and so many others, SWING AND A HIT is essential reading for any baseball fan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

I’ve always known how superb and how prepared Paul O’Neill was as a hitter. After reading SWING AND A HIT now I know all of O’Neill’s secrets and sacrifices and everything that helped make him such a splendid hitter. With every page I read, it was evident how Paul obsessed over the art of hitting and how he learned from some of the game’s best hitters. I loved competing with and against Paul. I loved this book just as much.”—David Cone, Five-Time World Series Champion, Cy Young Award Winner and baseball announcer for The Yes Network and ESPN

“Paul O’Neill’s passion to get a hit was obvious every time he stepped in the batter’s box. He was a fierce competitor who never thought he should make an out. And, in SWING AND A HIT, Paul intimately describes the journey that led to him being such a special hitter. This book is as entertaining and illuminating as one of O’Neill’s feisty at bats. Add another hit to O’Neill’s stats.” —Buck Showalter, Manager of The New York Mets, former manager of the N.Y. Yankees and three-time Manager of The Year.

“Paul O’Neill is so much more than “the warrior.” He is a baseball savant and an incredible student of the game. He and Jack Curry peel away the layers of the five-time world champion in this riveting read. I’ve known Paul for 30 years and I came away knowing much more about hitting and about him than before I picked up this fascinating read.” —Michael Kay, Yankees’ Play-By-Play announcer for the Yes Network.

“Paul O’Neill is one of my all-time favorite teammates. I loved his approach to the game, his passion, his commitment, and his relentless competitive spirit. Paul’s work ethic was unmatched. As a hitter, he was never satisfied. If you want insight into one of my favorite players, read SWING AND A HIT. I guarantee it won’t disappoint.”—Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins’ manager and former Yankees' captain

"Paul had an incomparable combination of being the fiercest competitor on the field, and the nicest, most affable guy off the field. It was like there were two completely different people. His success story began long before he became my teammate. SWING AND A HIT tells that story…and, yes – it is a hit! What else would you expect from Paul O’Neill?"—Bernie Williams, Yankees’ center fielder and four-time World Series champion.

"This is a book for baseball fans, many of whom will enjoy O’Neill’s unique insights on some of the greatest hitters of all time.”—Library Journal

Library Journal


Throughout 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, O'Neill was an immensely talented hitter, even claiming a batting title in 1994 with an electric .359 average. He also had incredible good fortune, having played with Pete Rose, Dave Concepcion, Don Mattingly, and Derek Jeter while winning five World Series Championships, including four titles in nine seasons as a pillar of several iconic Yankees lineups. O'Neill's memoir is full of vibrant anecdotes from his charmed life in baseball, but its singular focus is clear: hitting. Across 10 chapters (framed as a nine-inning game with an extra inning), O'Neill writes about the players, coaches, and managers who most influenced his career as a hitter while dispensing his own hitting advice to young players. Baseball fans who aren't enamored of the modern game's data-driven preference for home run hitters and fireballers will surely find O'Neill's hitting insights from a different era of baseball refreshing. VERDICT This is a book for baseball fans, many of whom will enjoy O'Neill's unique insights on some of the greatest hitters of all time.—Colin Chappell

Kirkus Reviews

The former MLB star and current TV commentator delivers a serviceable homily/memoir.

Readers will quickly learn two of O’Neill’s tightly held convictions. One is that Pete Rose, his erstwhile teammate and coach on the Cincinnati roster, belongs in Cooperstown. “I know someone permanently banned from baseball can’t be inducted into the Hall [of Fame],” he writes. “But I think Pete deserves to be in the Hall for setting the all-time record of 4,256 hits while playing the game with unbridled passion and joy.” The other is that the recent penchant of ball players for going for the big hits is misguided, if understandable. “They are chasing home runs,” he writes, “and I can’t blame them for doing that because, in essence, they’re also chasing the largest paycheck.” O’Neill takes undisguised pride in a batting style that delivered powerful base hits and line drives, taking the ball as it came down the middle of the plate and smacking it from a level plane that slightly elevated when bat connected with ball. That style drove Lou Piniella, who succeeded Rose, bonkers: “Lou wanted me to stay anchored on my back leg, use a weight shift to turn on pitches and elevate them, and knock them out of the ballpark.” In the end, O’Neill was traded to the Yankees just in time for their string of championships in the 1990s, eventually shifting his batting style just a little. In these pages, written with the assistance of veteran sportswriter Curry, O’Neill always returns to his pet cause: Chasing homers is well and good, “but they will also produce their share of infield pop-ups, harmless fly balls, and swings and misses. And here’s my two cents: Not everyone is or should be that kind of hitter.” It’s an argument repeated perhaps one too many times, though the author has a point.

Hardcore fans—and would-be grand slammers—might enjoy O’Neill’s book, but it doesn’t pack much punch.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176046229
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 05/24/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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