On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on August 2 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 Fordham hoopers Frankie Frisch and Babe Young delivered dynamic MLB doubleheaders on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an August 2 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • New York Yankees LF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's all-time scoring list in 1949-50 when finishing his basketball career) led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a pinch-hit, game-winning homer in a 3-2 triumph against the Detroit Tigers in 1960.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) hit for the cycle against the New York Yankees in a 1933 game.

  • Milwaukee Braves RHP Gene Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as Washington State sophomore) fired a four-hit shutout against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957.

  • INF Tim Cullen (starting guard for Santa Clara in 1962-63 when he averaged 10 ppg) traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Washington Senators for SS Ron Hansen in 1968.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA hoops titlist) hammered three homers in an 11-0 victory against the Washington Senators in 1950.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 2B Frankie Frisch (Fordham hoops captain) stroked three hits in both ends of a 1936 doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

  • Brooklyn Robins rookie 1B Buddy Hassett (hooper for Manhattan teams winning school-record 17 consecutive games in 1930 and 1931) went 4-for-4 against the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a 1936 doubleheader.

  • RHP Cal Koonce (hoops standout for Campbell in 1960 and 1961 when North Carolina-based school was junior college) purchased from the Chicago Cubs by the New York Mets in 1967.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) logged four hits and four RBI against the Detroit Tigers in a 1994 contest.

  • OF Les Mann (Springfield MA hooper in 1913 and 1914) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Boston Braves in 1919.

  • RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) yielded 15 singles but the New York Giants still defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-4, in 1911.

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) homered in both ends of 1983 twinbill against the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • Oakland Athletics CF Billy North (played hoops briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) collected three hits and three stolen bases in a 3-2 win against the Chicago White Sox in 1974.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LF Gary Redus (J.C. hooper for Athens AL and father of Centenary/South Alabama guard with same name) smacked two triples against the Chicago Cubs in a 1986 game.

  • Milwaukee Braves 2B Mel Roach (averaged 9.3 ppg for Virginia in 1952-53) ripped homer in back-to-back games against the San Francisco Giants in 1958.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) notched a save in his seventh straight relief appearance in 1990, capping off 16 consecutive contests covering 24 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.

  • Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) fired as manager of the New York Yankees and succeeded by Billy Martin in 1975.

  • New York Giants rookie 1B Babe Young (Fordham hoops letterman in 1935-36) belted two homers against the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a 1940 twinbill.