Charlie Neal started out playing ball in high school for a amateur traveling ballclub organized by his father out of Longview, Texas. He was able to showcase his skills while there, and was subsequently drafted by the Dodgers in 1950. After 6 years of Minor League ball, Neal made his debut in Dodger Blue in 1956. He immediately impressed the club with his speed and his defensive prowess at 2nd base and short stop.
His finest year came in 1959. Charlie Neal won the Gold Glove at 2nd base, was an All-Star and lead the league in triples with 11. The best was yet to come, though. During the 1959 World Series match up against the Chicago White Sox, he belted two home runs in Game 2 of the series to help them win the game 4 to 3. Overall, he batted .370, OPS'd 1.037, had 6 RBI's, 2 home runs and 2 doubles.
Via Sportswriter Roy Terrell in Sports Illustrated (from Baseball-Almanac):
"Charlie Neal doesn't look like a man who would hit two home runs in a year, much less one game. He weighs only 156 pounds and his wrists are thin. Yet he has hit 41 home runs in the last two seasons. He has played with the Dodgers for four years and is regarded as one of the best second basemen in the National League. In the dressing room as reporters questioned him, Neal looked embarrassed. What pitches did he hit? He didn't know, he said, and when the reporters looked puzzled, he said he was sorry. A photographer asked him to make a muscle, and he looked embarrassed again as laughing teammates compared it to a bee sting. But their kidding was gentle; it was that bee sting which had tied the Series at a game apiece."Below are complete scans of every page from Charlie Neal's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet. Click any pic to embiggen.
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