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:
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.
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.
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.
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.