January 30, 1931|
|Died: November 18, 1996
|April 17, 1956, for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1963, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||391|
|Career highlights and awards|
Charles Lenard Neal (January 30, 1931 – November 18, 1996) was an American second baseman in Major League Baseball. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1950, and won the 1959 World Series after the team moved to Los Angeles. He hit two home runs in Game 2 of the Series, at Chicago's Comiskey Park.
In 1959 Neal had 177 hits with 19 home runs and 17 stolen bases, led the league in sacrifice hits and triples, won a Gold Glove at second base, played in the All-Star Game and earned a championship ring, hitting .370 in the six-game World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox.
After the 1961 season, the Dodgers traded him to the New York Mets for outfielder Lee Walls and cash. Neal ended up playing for the Mets' '62 expansion team that lost 120 games, most by a team in a single season since the 19th Century. He was in the inaugural Met starting lineup on April 11, 1962 at St. Louis, batting third, going 3-for-4 and getting the first RBI in the team's history.
Neal remained a Met until a trade July 1, 1963 to the Cincinnati Reds. After he hit just .156 for the rest of that season, Neal was released by the Reds in spring training of 1964, his career over at age 33.
He played in two World Series, also batting four times for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 Series. Neal started at second base in Game 3, a 5-3 loss to pitcher Whitey Ford and the New York Yankees, before a Yankee Stadium crowd of 73,977, largest of that series and still one of the 10 biggest crowds in World Series history.
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