Troy Neel

Troy Neel
Designated hitter / First baseman
Born: (1965-09-14) September 14, 1965
Freeport, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 30, 1992, for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
August 11, 1994, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average .280
Home runs 37
Runs batted in 120

Troy Lee Neel (born September 14, 1965) is an American former professional baseball player. After a solid start in Major League Baseball (MLB), Neel moved to Japan and compiled strong numbers in six seasons playing in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Early life

Neel was born in Freeport, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University before his professional baseball career.[1]


Neel played in the major leagues for the Oakland Athletics primarily as a first baseman and designated hitter from 1992 to 1994.

Moving to Japan, he had a successful baseball career for the Orix BlueWave, playing with them for six seasons from 1995 until 2000.

Neel was the Most Valuable Player in the 1996 Japan Series, as the BlueWave defeated the Yomiuri Giants 4-games-to-1. Neel had 6 RBI in the Series.

Neel finished his professional baseball career in 2001 playing with the Doosan Bears in Korea.[2]

Personal life

Neel has been married at least two times.

Child support controversy

In 2000, Neel was ordered by the State of Texas to pay $5,000 a month in child support to his ex-wife who is the mother of his two children, a son and daughter.[2] Instead of paying, Neel fled the country and played baseball in Japan.

After retiring from athletics, the remarried Neel purchased a 16-acre 700,000 sq ft (65,000 m2) island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, where he and his wife ran a 21-room resort which cost a reported $1.5 million[3] overlooking a lagoon[2] Called "the worst dead beat dad in 'the history of Texas'",[3] he owed over $725,000 in child support,[4] ultimately determined to be $778,000.[3] In 2005, a grand jury in San Antonio indicted Neel on a charge of foreign travel to evade child support obligations.[5]

His passport expired in 2008, and Vanuatu authorities forced him to leave the country. On December 11, 2008, Neel was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport by US Health and Human Services investigators after he exited a plane from Sydney, Australia; he awaited trial in San Antonio, Texas.[2] On May 7, 2009 Neel was scheduled to plead guilty in court to avoiding child support payments. Neel faced as much as two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.[1][6]

Neel reached a one-lump settlement with his ex-wife, for $116,000 and not the $778,000 he owed,[3] a reduction of 85%. He received no jail time sentence, only probation.[3]


  1. 1 2 Kreytak, Steven (7 May 2009). "Officials: Former Austinite, big leaguer, to plead in child support case". Cox Media Group. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Former A's 1B Neel charged in child support case". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Brill, Bob (20 April 2010). "Baseball playing dead beat dad Troy Neel still gets away with it". Clarity Digital Group LLC.
  4. "CS Evader: Troy Neel". Child Support Evaders. Texas Attorney General. 2008-12-14. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  5. "Ex-Big Leaguer Pleads Not Guilty In Texas Child Support Case". San Antonio, Texas: KWTX-TV. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  6. "Cooperative Effort Reels in Texas' Most Heinous Child Support Evader" (Press release). Attorney General of Texas. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
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