UNK Hall of Fame: Neal Arnold

UNK Hall of Fame: Neal Arnold


I coached Neal Arnold when he was in American Legion Baseball and then had the pleasure of
coaching Neal in 1992 and 93 on the American Legion team. So, I actually played
at Kearney State College way back in the times, so I
knew Coach Guy Murray very well, who he’d played for here. He was a guy that I know Coach
Murray wanted desperately in his program and we’re
fortunate enough to get Neal to stick around Kearney and
give him four great years. Neal was as hard a
working of an individual as I probably coached. I’ve done this for a lot of years at a lot of different levels and his preparation,
his attention to detail, some of the things that he would do in preparation of performing in games. He was a tremendous competitor. He was a young man that
wanted the baseball against the best teams that we played and was up to the challenge
each and every time to give it everything he had. I think Neal came to the
University of Nebraska Kearney and I think he had like
54 appearances for him, which he made about 34 starts. He threw 15 complete games, I think, during that tenure at Kearney and you don’t see a lot of complete games in the major leagues anymore
or anywhere for that matter. So, a pretty good accomplishment there. He won 15 ballgames there
and if I’m not mistaken, was at one time the leading
strikeout guy at Kearney with about 248 career strikeouts. So, I think he was
actually named first-team All Conference RMAC player, might have been the
first Loper to do that. I kind of followed that at that time and through all of those
accomplishments actually, in about 1997 I believe, he was drafted by the major leagues in the 28th round by
the St. Louis Cardinals. So, I think those statistics
speak for themselves when you start talking
about a Hall of Fame player and he checks off all the boxes. Besides those statistics, he was a guy that never bragged about what he did, he was all in it for the team, he wanted to try to
have his accomplishments help the team be successful. So, those are guys that those
team type players or guys that you always wanted in your program and Neal was certainly one of those guys. Neal’s a guy that I always had
a great amount of respect for and certainly proud to
even be a small part of what we were able to do at Kearney to lead him to what this honor was. So, Neal, congratulations
from the bottom of my heart, it couldn’t happen to a better person.