Neal Vance

Neal Hendrix "Gimlet" Vance, born October 4th, 18841 in Arkansas, was a professional baseball pitcher from about 1906-1913.


Neal Vance was briefly a member of Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians in 1910. However, he did not appear in a season game with either.2

While a member of the Rochester, MN club in 1910, Vance was hospitalized after suffering a pitch in the head.3

Vance died February 10th, 1919 in Faulkner, County, AR4 as a result of asphixiation due to a gas leak.5 He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Conway, AR.6


"Pitcher Neal Vance of the Toledo club was released Saturday and will probably be taken into tow by Manager Ed Ransick of the Springfield club in the Ohio State league. Vance will be remembered by Fort Wayne fans. He was with the Toledo Yannigans on their appearance against the local team some days ago. He was batted all over the lot and on being recalled from the box by Manager Eels he went through a few stunts of a highly illuminating nature. Later at the Aveline hotel he went after Eels with a butcher knife and a big gun threatening the life of the club manager. Vance spent almost all of his life on the Texas frontier where he probably picked up his wild and wooly west ideas. He broke into baseball several years ago and after playing a few season with the Waco club in the Texas league was drafted by Toledo. He was a good man, but Armour stated his Indian warfare ideas could not be tolerated while traveling with Toledo consequently his release. Wonder what will happen when Vance gets into Ransick's camp and brushes against the ire of the letter?"7

"The Toledo, American Association, Club has released pitcher Neal Vance, drafted from Waco, owing to an escapade in Fort Worth, when he and Eells had a quarrel in which Vance tried to shoot Eells. Armour says he is a good pitcher."8

"Dispatches say that Neal Vance, the pitcher tried out by Detroit this year, has been unconditionally released. Vance is such a hard man to get along with that no other club wants to sign him up and he is still a free agent. He tried out with the Decatur club several years ago and threatened to shoot Fred Moore. He was fired and went from here to Green Bay. The Detroit got him"9

"The Albany Club has secured a new pitcher in the person of Neal Vance, who was purchased from the Detroit Club after the Cleveland Club had turned him back to Detroit because it regarded the purchase price, $1,000 as excessive."10

"Pitcher Neal Vance, who was a Cleveland Nap for about ten days, is now drawing his salary from the Albany Club, of the New York State League. When Detroit asked for Waivers on Vance the local club owners, at the instance of Manager McGuire, refused to waive, and the player was turned over to Cleveland. A check for $1,00 was sent to the Detroit Club and they requested an additional $500 or a total of $1,500, the amount of the waiver price on a purchased player. Then came to light a grand all-around mix-up. It seems the Cleveland Club owners were of the opinion that Vance had been drafted from Vernon, Cal., a Class A league club and their check for $1,000 paid for the man, to their way of thinking. When Detroit asked for an additional $500, the matter was taken up with President Ban Johnson, who in turn took the matter up at a National Commission meeting. It was ruled that Vance had been drafted from Green Bay, Wis., for $300, which meant that the Detroit Club must return $700 to the Nap owners. The latter, however, did now want to take advantage of Detroit's mistake and turned the player back to Manager Jennings, who placed Vance with Albany a few days since."11

"Conway, Feb. 15. – Funeral services were held yesterday for Neal Vance, son of M D. Vance, by the Rev. H. E. Wheeler, pastor of the First Methodist church. It is believed his death was caused by asphyxiation. It is said that he retired leaving a small heater burning in his room, and that when the gas pressure later in the night increase, enough gas escaped the fill the room and cause his death."12


1906-1909 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1913 Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

2 Sporting Life, 5/21/1910
3 Duluth News-Tribune, 7/9/1910
5 Arkansas Gazette, 2/16/1919
7 Fort Wayne News, 4/13/1908
8 Sporting Life, 4/18/1908
9 Decatur Daily Review, 5/20/1910
10 Sporting Life, 5/21/1910
11 Sporting Life, 5/21/1910
12 Arkansas Gazette, 2/16/1919