Al Neiger Jr., 83, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in 1939 to Alvin E. Neiger Sr and Jesse Leyh Neiger.
A native of Wilmington, DE, Al graduated from Wilmington High School in 1958. He attended University of Delaware in 1959; becoming the first ever player in Blue Hen baseball history to earn All-American honors. His UD record of 166 strikeouts in 103 innings still stands today. In 1960, during his junior year, Al was signed to a bonus contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played 5 seasons with the Phillies organization, advancing to the major leagues in 1960 appearing in 6 games as a relief pitcher. He left the Phillies in 1964 in order to spend more time with his growing family which was his #1 priority throughout his life.
His 3 daughters recall their Dad saying that in addition to his cherished family, his greatest accomplishment was being inducted to the University of Delaware Sports Hall of Fame for Baseball in 2011. He was an avid supporter of UD Baseball and in 2019, at the age of 80, he was privileged to throw out the first pitch at his Alma Mater during one of the UD spring season baseball games. He was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame and the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame. He was also named the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association (DSBA) Delaware Athlete of the Year for 1959.
Al worked for NVF company in Yorklyn as a Plant Manager retiring in 2004. He loved spending his summers in Fenwick Island, DE enjoying surf fishing and crabbing with his grandchildren. His family was his greatest pride and joy. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara Williams and their 3 daughters, Susie Jester (Donny), Shelley Wiglesworth (Bob), Amy Geiger (Dave), 9 grandchildren, Allie Roenke (Pierson) Greg Whitcraft; Kelsey, Bobby and Lindsay Wiglesworth; Christie, Caroline, Callie Husband and Chelsea Husband Obermueller and a great granddaughter, Wynn Roenke. He is also survived by his brother, Bill Neiger (Leslie) and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his sister Dorothy Carter.
Friends may call on Sunday, October 9, 2022 at Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803 from 6-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Al’s life will be held on Monday, October 10, 2022 at 10:30am at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Catholic Church, 10 Old Church Rd., Wilmington, DE, 19807. Interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to UD Baseball https://ud.alumniq.com/giving/to/bluehens or to the Philadelphia Phillies charity organization. https://www.mlb.com/phillies/community/phillies-charities/give-a-gift.
For online condolences, please visit Chandlerfuneralhome.com.