Paul O'Neill 21: Family History
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FAMILY HISTORY

Ancestry
O’Neill comes from the name Niall, which means, passionate, vehement or determined in the Gaelic language. The O’Neills were the leading family of the Cineal Eoghan tribal grouping, who ruled what is now the present County of Tyrone and parts of County Derry and Donegal. The name today is the tenth most popular in all of Ireland and is most numerous in the northern province of Ulster.
1800s
Sometime in the late 1800's, Paul's great-grandfather, a Nebraska homesteader, married Mary Clemens of Missouri. Paul's great-grandmother was a cousin to one Samuel Clemens, alias Mark Twain.
1909
Paul's Grandfather, Art O'Neill, played in Billings, Montana in 1909 for $75 a month. Paul's first professional assignment was in the Cincinnati Reds' farm system, playing for the Billings Mustangs.
1940s
Paul's dad, Chick O'Neill, pitched in the California Leagues after serving as a paratrooper in WWII.
1961
Paul’s Uncle Clark (near right with flower in his lapel) carries Ty Cobb’s coffin to his family’s crypt in Royston, GA in July, 1961.
1960s
Paul grew up in a large family, the youngest of five boys and one girl in Columbus, Ohio.
1960s
There were always a lot of kids around. Which one is Paul?
1960s
There were always sports to play. As sister Molly wrote, "He's been playing like his life depended on it since he was a little kid."
1969
6 year-old Paul poses (a weird premonition) at Crosley Field. The outfielder in the background is Roberto Clemente, a great defensive rightfielder who also wore #21.
1971
The earliest known photo of Paul in action, playing for the Junior Jet Cardinals in 1971. The stance looks familiar.
1973
MVP, Paul O'Neill, hoists the trophy at eight years old. The very beginnings of his career.
1973
In 1973, Paul (kneeling third from left) with older brother Robert (kneeling far right) played for his dad/coach Chick (green hat). When his team, Julian Speer, won the Plain City tournament, he was only ten in a twelve year-old league and hit .400 that year. Paul is holding up a Plain City All-Star team certificate and brother Robert holds the MVP plaque.
1970s
Paul had great high school years in basketball and baseball. Notice the late 70's hairdo. Where's the disco? Paul was drafted in the 4th round of 1981 by Cincinnati. One of his high school coaches told a scout not to draft him because he was uncoachable.
1980s
Paul toiled in the minors, working his way through Cincinnati's farm system. He married his longtime love and eventually had 3 kids. The rest is history.

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