He was a star player in high school and a promising prospect at Texas A&M who wound up as a professional athlete. But the title he's now known for is the biggest dead-beat dad in the history of Texas.
Troy Neel, 43, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to non-payment of child support in the amount of $725,000. He remains jailed in Austin awaiting a trial date.
But early on in his life, Neel had the proverbial world on a string. After leading his Brazoswood, Texas high school team to a state baseball championship, he arrived at Texas A&M in 1984 on a football scholarship. After a couple of season with the Aggies, he returned to baseball where he wound up with the Oakland A's.
After a messy divorce, Neel was ordered to pay $5,000 a month in child support for his two children. But by that time he was playing professional baseball in Japan.
The Texas Attorney General's office says Neal then purchased a resort on the island of the Republic of Vanuatu where he lived for eight years while his child support debt continued to grow.
He was arrested last month in Los Angeles. Neel faces up to two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.