MLB: For replay! Paul O’Neill’s mistake might be the funniest of all

MLB For replay Paul ONeills mistake might be the funniest

The iconic Paul O’Neill he thought the game was over. Their Cincinnati Reds were playing the Philadelphia Phillies at the defunct Veterans Stadium on July 5, 1989, looking to win the game after losing seven of their previous 11 games.

Iconic left-handed closer John Franco was on the mound for the Reds in the bottom of the 10th inning of a 2-2 game, trying to force another inning to give his team a chance:

Steve Jeltz, the speedy Phillies shortstop, had reached first base with an infield single to start the inning, then passed second base to put the winning run in scoring position. When the southpaw Lenny Dykstra lined a ball to right field with one out, only one thing crossed O’Neill’s mind.

O’Neill didn’t think of it. Instead, he made a play that will be remembered for years to come, and one of the nominees in the “Ups Bracket,” where fans can pick the biggest mistake in baseball history.

Charging to make the play, O’Neill rocked the ball twice, first with the heel of his glove and then with his bare left hand. Frustrated at his inability to make a game-saving play, O’Neill lunged at the ball with his left foot, looking much like he did when he kicked in high school football. Here the video:

What O’Neill didn’t realize was that Jeltz had slipped on his way to third, which made him hesitate as he circled base. Fortunately for the Reds, the ball flew off O’Neill’s foot into the infield, heading straight for first baseman Todd Benzinger.

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The Reds would lose the game later in the inning with a passed ball, but Benzinger later told O’Neill that he thought they might have thrown Dykstra out at second base on the now infamous play.

Rafael Martinez

I am fond of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and in general all of Mexican baseball. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, LMB All Star, LMP (uninterrupted since 2009), signings of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, albeit as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I carry baseball in my veins. Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I came to El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services in Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and within days, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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