On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on April 15 MLB Games

Extra! Extra! Read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopers had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.

Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a taxing April 15 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • New York Giants 2B Andy Cohen (Alabama basketball letterman in 1924 and 1925) went 3-for-4 for the second time in first three games of 1928 campaign.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers RF Ox Eckhart (Texas hoops letterman in 1923) smacked his lone MLB homer (against New York Giants in 1936).

  • RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1955-56 and 1956-57) made his St. Louis Cardinals debut at Los Angeles in 1959, hurling the final two innings in a 5-0 setback against the Dodgers. He became the first future Hall of Famer to yield a homer to first batter he faced in the majors (3B Jim Baxes went downtown in seventh inning).

  • First appearance and start in 1961 for Philadelphia Phillies RHP Dallas Green (Delaware's second-leading scorer and rebounder in 1954-55) wound up becoming a five-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants.

  • INF Gene Handley (Bradley hoops letterman in 1932-33 and 1933-34) purchased from the Pittsburgh Pirates by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1940.

  • 1B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first black player to appear in a MLB game. Before Robinson was replaced by Howie Schultz (Hamline MN hooper in early 1940s), he went hitless in three at-bats against the Boston Braves a year before President Truman desegregated the military.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates CF Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) belted two homers in a 4-1 triumph against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1961.

  • Washington Senators rookie RHP Monte Weaver (hoops center for Emory & Henry VA in mid-1920s) won his season debut in 1932 with a four-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox.

  • Boston Red Sox C Sammy White (All-PCC Northern Division first-five selection for Washington in 1947-48 and 1948-49) went 4-for-4 against the Washington Senators in 1954.

  • Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) homered twice against the Boston Braves in a 1922 game.

  • San Diego Padres RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) tied a MLB record with 25 straight starts on the road without a defeat before bowing at Los Angeles against the Dodgers in 2007.