The Obit For Al McNeilance

Oilers pitcher McNeilance dies

By BARRY LEWIS Tulsa World Sports Writer

6/11/2008

Former Tulsa Oilers pitcher Al McNeilance died Monday in Tulsa. He was 80.

McNeilance pitched in the Texas League for Tulsa from 1953-55. He had a team-high 23 wins over his first two seasons with the Oilers before developing arm trouble that shortened his career.

In 1954, McNeilance, in his first start after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, pitched the first 14 innings of a 22-inning win over Dallas, is tied for the second-longest game in Tulsa's pro baseball history.

McNeilance had two victories to help Tulsa win its 1953 Texas League semifinal series. His nickname was "Mr. Peepers" due to his resemblance to a popular television character portrayed by Wally Cox.

After retiring from baseball, McNeilance stayed in Tulsa and was a postal employee for 34 years.

McNeilance is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty, daughters Cynthia Ann McNeilance and Betsy McNeilance Prall and her husband, Kevin, all of Tulsa; a granddaughter and a great granddaughter. His son, John, died earlier.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Freeman Harris Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Woodland Acres Baptist Church.