During the 1994 season, the Yankees were leading the East division by six and a half games when the season was cut short due to a strike by the players.
O’Neill won the batting title that year. The Yankees qualified for the postseason the next year for the first time in 14 years, and they continued to do so every year for the rest of O’Neill’s career in the major leagues.
He was a crucial cog in the wheel that propelled the New York Yankees to their most dynastic run, which saw them prevail in the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.
In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1996 World Series, he prevented former Yankee teammate Luis Polonia of the Atlanta Braves from collecting an extra-base single, so ensuring that the Yankees would win by a score of 1-0.
Just a few hours after the passing of his father, O’Neill participated in Game 4 of the 1999 World Series.
The Yankees were victorious and completed their four-game sweep of the Braves to claim their 25th World Series title.
O’Neill was notorious for being his own worst critic, as he appeared to be never satisfied with his own performance and was known for his emotion on the field.
When he was unhappy with his performance or angry with a decision made by an umpire, he would attack water coolers or toss bats on the field.
Fans and members of the media alike voiced their approval and disapproval of his tirades.