On This Date: Ex-College Cagers Make Their Mark on September 12 MLB Games

Extra! Extra! Read all about memorable major league baseball achievements and moments involving former college basketball players! Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Nonetheless, numerous ex-college hoopers had front-row seats to many of the most notable games, transactions and dates in MLB history.

Former Manhattan hoopers Buddy Hassett and Xavier Rescigno supplied significant MLB performances on this date. Ditto three ex-hoopers from small colleges in Pennsylvania - Al Downing (Muhlenberg), Frank Grube (Lafayette) and Monte Irvin (Lincoln). Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a September 12 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) tied a MLB single-season mark in 1956 when swatting his 13th homer against a single team (Brooklyn Dodgers).

  • Washington Senators OF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after being runner-up in both categories the previous season) debuted in 1965 with a pinch-hit homer on the first pitch to him against the California Angels.

  • Detroit Tigers RHP Elden Auker (All-Big Six first-five selection with Kansas State in 1931-32) posted his second win streak of at least six games en route to leading the A.L. in winning percentage in 1935.

  • Boston Braves rookie 2B Jack Dittmer (played hoops briefly for Iowa in 1949-50), entering a 1952 doubleheader hitting .182, belted a homer in both ends of the twinbill while going 5-for-8 and scoring five runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg PA on hoops scholarship but departed before ever playing) tossed a two-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants in 1974.

  • Atlanta Braves 3B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered twice in a 1973 game against the San Francisco Giants. The next year as a 1B, Evans homered in both ends of a 1974 doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Eddie Fisher (played for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman hoops squad) toiled 11 innings to beat the Minnesota Twins, 2-1, in 1962.

  • In 1931, Chicago White Sox rookie C Frank Grube (Lafayette starting hoops guard as senior in 1926-27) launched his lone MLB homer.

  • Brooklyn Robins rookie 1B Buddy Hassett (hooper for Manhattan teams winning school-record 17 consecutive contests in 1930 and 1931) supplied a pair of doubles in both ends of a 1936 twinbill split against the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection when leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding in 1956-57 and 1957-58) went 4-for-4 against the New York Mets in a 1964 contest. Four years later as a 1B with the Washington Senators, Howard homered twice against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1968 outing.

  • Extending his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games in a row, New York Giants LF Monte Irvin (Lincoln PA hooper 1 1/2 years in late 1930s) provided three hits in each contest of a 1952 doubleheader split with the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Atlanta Braves RF David Justice (Thomas More KY assists leader in 1984-85 while averaging 9.3 ppg) homered twice against the Houston Astros in a 1992 game.

  • Cleveland Indians 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) drilled two homers against the New York Yankees in a 1971 contest.

  • Chicago Cubs RF Bill Nicholson (hoops guard for Washington College MD two years in mid-1930s) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1940 outing.

  • RHP Cotton Pippen (Texas Western hoops letterman in 1929-30) awarded on waivers from the Philadelphia Athletics to the Detroit Tigers in 1939.

  • LHP Dennis Rasmussen (sixth-man for Creighton averaged 5.1 ppg in three seasons from 1977-78 through 1979-80) shipped by the New York Yankees to the San Diego Padres in 1983 to complete an earlier deal.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates rookie RHP Xavier Rescigno (Manhattan hooper in 1932 and 1933) registered his lone MLB shutout (four-hitter against Cincinnati Reds in nightcap of 1943 doubleheader).

  • Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Kent Tekulve (freshman hooper for Marietta OH in mid-1960s) tallied his seventh save in less than a month in 1976.

  • Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) launched two homers and triple among his four hits in a 1924 game against his original team (Chicago Cubs).

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Jim Willis (Northwestern State hoops letterman in 1944-45 and from 1947-48 through 1949-50) tossed back-to-back complete-game victories in 1953.