On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on April 17 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 an April 17 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) contributed four hits against the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a 1955 twinbill.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LF Harry Anderson (averaged 7.7 ppg and 8.9 rpg for West Chester PA in 1951-52) hammered two homers against the Milwaukee Braves in a 1960 game.

  • Milwaukee Braves 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) smacked two homers in a 5-2 win against the Houston Colt .45s in 1964.

  • Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) stroked four hits against the Kansas City Royals in 1981.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) homered in his third consecutive contest in 1997.

  • Cincinnati Reds CF Harry Craft (four-sport hoops letterman with Mississippi College in early 1930s) accumulated four hits and five RBI in a 7-6 setback against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Eddie Fisher (hooper for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) hurled his first complete game in 10 years. Fisher also won his next three starts by yielding only one earned run covering 18 innings.

  • Kansas City Royals RHP Dave Frost (averaged 10.5 ppg and 4 rpg for Stanford from 1971-72 through 1973-74) registered his third relief victory in four games early in 1982.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Joe Gibbon (two-time All-SEC forward for Ole Miss was the nation's second-leading scorer as a senior in 1956-57), making his MLB debut in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds in 1960, threw two scoreless innings of relief and emerged as the winner when the Bucs erupted for six runs in the ninth.

  • Utilityman Chuck Harmon (freshman starter was Toledo's second-leading scorer for 1943 NIT runner-up) became the second black player for the Cincinnati Reds when pinch-hitting against the Milwaukee Braves in a 1954 contest.

  • Baltimore Orioles 2B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg with Texas A&M in 1961-62) provided back-to-back four-hit games against the Boston Red Sox in 1969.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Bob Keegan (Bucknell hoops letterman in 1941-42 and 1942-43) toiled at least eight innings for the first of 10 straight starts in 1954, including a pair of shutouts.

  • Detroit Tigers SS Harvey Kuenn (played briefly for Wisconsin in 1951-52 after competing on JV hoops squad previous season) stroked three doubles among his four hits against the Kansas City Athletics in a 1955 game.

  • Milwaukee Braves SS Johnny Logan (Binghamton hooper in 1948-49) jacked two homers in a 5-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds in 1954.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) hurled a shutout against the Cleveland Indians in his season debut. The 41-year-old Lyons went the distance in all 20 starts during the 1942 campaign en route to posting an A.L.-best 2.10 ERA.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RF Bake McBride (averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 21 games for Westminster MO in 1968-69 and 1969-70) collected two homers and five RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1979 contest.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Elmer Ponder (Oklahoma hoops letterman in 1913-14 and 1915-16) tossed a 13-inning shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1920.

  • Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) secured his first safety with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. It was one of his 19 bunt hits as a rookie.

  • Chicago Cubs LF Riggs Stephenson (Alabama hoops letterman in 1920) supplied three extra-base hits, including a homer, in a six-inning, 3-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1930.

  • Detroit Tigers RF Champ Summers (led SIUE in scoring in 1969-70 after doing same with Nicholls State in 1964-65) collected four hits against the Boston Red Sox, igniting a career-high 17-game hitting streak in 1980.

  • In 1989, Cincinnati Reds RHP Kent Tekulve (freshman hooper in mid-1960s for Marietta OH) passed Hoyt Wilhelm as MLB's all-time leader in relief appearances.