On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on August 3 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.

Several former small-college hoopers from Pennsylvania - Charlie Gelbert (Lebanon Valley), Danny Litwhiler (Bloomsburg) and Christy Mathewson (Bucknell) - made MLB news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an August 3 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • In the midst of homering in three consecutive contests, New York Mets 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC basketball games in 1991-92) amassed two round-trippers and five RBI against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 2003 game.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RHP Gene Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as Washington State sophomore) hurled two innings of hitless relief for the N.L. in a 5-3 setback against the A.L. in the second 1959 All-Star Game.

  • SS Dick Culler (hoops Little All-American in 1935 and 1936 with High Point) purchased from the Chicago Cubs by the New York Giants in 1948.

  • Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) fired as manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1967.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of last three seasons in late 1920s for Lebanon Valley PA) garnered three hits for the third consecutive contest in 1930.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) hammered three homers against the New York Giants in a 1947 doubleheader.

  • San Francisco Giants C Tom Haller (Illinois backup forward in 1956-57 and 1957-58) hammered two homers against the New York Mets in a 1966 contest.

  • Boston Braves 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 a 1940 game.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) collected two homers and six RBI against the Milwaukee Braves in a 1955 contest.

  • Washington Senators LF 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) homered in both ends of doubleheader split against the Minnesota Twins in 1965.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (Maryland hoops letterman from 1934-35 through 1936-37) contributed two homers and five RBI against the Detroit Tigers in the nightcap of a 1943 twinbill.

  • Cleveland Indians SS Jack Kubiszyn (All-SEC first-team guard as senior averaged 18.3 ppg for Alabama from 1955-56 through 1957-58) connected for his lone MLB homer, accounting for the game's only run against the Kansas City Athletics in 1962.

  • St. Louis Cardinals LF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV hoops squad with Bloomsburg PA in mid-1930s) delivered four hits and six RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1944 game.

  • Cleveland Indians rookie CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) supplied three extra-base hits against the New York Yankees in a 1992 outing. The next year, Lofton logged four runs and three stolen bases against the Detroit Tigers in a 1993 contest.

  • RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) surrendered 15 hits in 10 innings but the New York Giants still defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 7-6, in 1909.

  • Gene Michael (Kent State's leading scorer with 14 ppg in 1957-58) dismissed as New York Yankees manager in 1982 after losing a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox.

  • Chicago Cubs rookie RF Bill Nicholson (hoops guard for Washington College MD two years in mid-1930s) smacked two triples against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1939 contest.

  • Minnesota Twins RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) suspended for 10 games by A.L. President Bobby Brown after he was caught with a file on the mound and ejected during the fourth inning of a game against the California Angels in 1987.

  • New York Yankees LF Irv Noren (hooper of year for California community college state champion Pasadena City in 1945) notched four hits for the second time in a six-game span in 1953.

  • Detroit Tigers OF Jim Northrup (second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for Alma MI in 1958-59) drilled a game-winning, pinch homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against Chicago White Sox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm in the opener of a 1966 doubleheader.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RHP Ron Reed (Notre Dame's leading rebounder in 1963-64 and 1964-65) registered a save, victory or hold in eight straight relief appearances in 1982.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 2B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) homered in both ends of a 1952 twinbill sweep of the Chicago Cubs.

  • Montreal Expos RF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman hoops team in mid-1960s) secured the only hit off Bill Hands of the Chicago Cubs in the nightcap of a 1972 doubleheader.

  • In 1975, Kansas City Royals LHP Paul Splittorff (runner-up in scoring and rebounding in 1967-68 for Morningside IA) retired the last 26 Oakland Athletics batters while throwing one of his two career one-hitters.

  • St. Louis Cardinals rookie CF Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) blasted two homers against the New York Giants in a 1955 game.

  • Boston Braves LHP Tom Zachary (Guilford NC hoops letterman in 1916) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1933.