Michael Neill - Player
Inducted in 2009
Michael Neill (Player) - He had a remarkable baseball career that included a stint with the Oakland As and ended with the Olympic Gold Medal team in the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia. Mike was named Delaware Athlete of the Year in 2000. He was a perennial All-Star in the Seaford Nanticoke Little League. His team won five state championships. He went to the Senior LL World Series three times.
Mike played three years for the Seaford High School Baseball team, winning the state championship in 1986. As a senior, he was named 1st team All-State First Baseman, MVP in the Blue-Gold All-State game and Delaware Amateur Baseball Player of the Year. Mike was also an All-State basketball player.
While playing baseball at Villanova University Mike compiled a .417 career batting average, led the Wildcats to the 1991 Big East Conference crown and was named Big East Player of the Year. He established team records: 232 hits, 53 doubles and 379 total bases and several single season records.
Mike won two Minor League batting championships and had a .307 batting average over 11 years. He was selected to four All-Star teams and was a key player in the Vancouver Canadians' 1999 AAA World Series victory. He was called up by the Oakland As in 1988 but was sidelined with an injury.
Mike led the 2000 USA Olympics team to a 4-0 win over Cuba in the gold medal game with a 1 st inning home run and a dramatic sliding catch in the 9th inning. His walk off homer against Japan won the team's 1st round Olympic contest. During the 1999 Pan American Games he had the game winning hit to clinch the Olympic berth for his USA team.
Mike was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.