On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on July 14 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 Illinois hoopers Lou Boudreau and Tom Haller made significant MLB news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a July 14 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Cleveland Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau (leading basketball scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) banged out five extra-base hits - four doubles and a homer - but it wasn't enough to prevent an 11-10 defeat in the opening game of a 1946 doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox, which got three homers for eight RBI from Hall of Fame OF Ted Williams.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL in mid-1940s) went 9-for-11 in a three-game series against opponent (New York Giants) trading him to the Cards a month earlier.

  • Boston Red Sox C Gene Desautels (Holy Cross hoops letterman in 1929 and 1930) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Browns in a 1937 game.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Walt Dropo (Connecticut's first player ever to average 20 points for season with 21.7 ppg in 1942-43) stroked five singles in an 8-2 win over the New York Yankees in 1952.

  • Boston Red Sox C Rick Ferrell (forward for Guilford NC before graduating in 1928) amassed four hits and four runs against the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a 1935 twinbill.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Jake Flowers (member of Washington College MD "Flying Pentagon" hoops squad in 1923) went 4-for-4 in a 3-2 victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1931.

  • San Diego Padres RF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) extended his hitting streak to 19 games with three safeties against the San Francisco Giants in a 1977 contest, raising his batting average to .402.

  • In a MLB first, Tom Haller (backup forward for Illinois in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Harry Combes) was the Detroit Tigers' catcher in 1972 when his brother, Bill, umpired behind the plate.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) went 2-for-2 to help the N.L. edge the A.L., 5-4, in 12 innings in the 1970 All-Star Game.

  • St. Louis Browns LHP Ernie Koob (Western Michigan hoops letterman in 1914) hurled a 17-inning shutout in a scoreless tie against the Boston Red Sox in 1916.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV hoops squad with Bloomsburg PA in mid-1930s) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1941 game.

  • In 1935, Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) hurled his second of back-to-back shutouts.

  • Kansas City Athletics 1B Irv Noren (hooper of year for California community college state champion Pasadena City in 1945) launched two homers against the Washington Senators in the nightcap of a 1957 doubleheader.

  • RHP Curly Ogden (Swarthmore PA hoops center in 1919, 1920 and 1922) tossed his third shutout in first seven starts with the Washington Senators in 1924.

  • Chicago Cubs INF Paul Popovich (teammate of Jerry West for West Virginia's 1960 NCAA playoff team) delivered a game-winning, pinch single in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 9-8 triumph against the Atlanta Braves in 1972.

  • Cincinnati Reds LHP Eppa Rixey (Virginia hoops letterman in 1912 and 1914) fired a six-hit shutout against Brooklyn amid a streak of eight straight wins en route to a N.L.-high 25 triumphs in 1922.

  • New York Yankees 1B Bill "Moose" Skowron (scored 18 points in eight games for Purdue in 1949-50) socked his second pinch-hit grand slam of the 1957 season.

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) earned the victory in the 1987 All-Star Game with three innings of scoreless relief for the N.L.

  • Chicago White Sox LHP Matt Thornton (averaged 5.8 ppg and 2.4 rpg for Grand Valley State MI from 1995-96 through 1997-98) scored upon for the only time in a 16-game span through the end of the month in 2006.

  • Boston Red Sox LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points for Benedictine KS from 1955-56 through 1957-58) notched his fourth straight save in 1973.

  • RF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) walloped two homers for the California Angels in an 8-7 triumph against the Toronto Blue Jays in 1990.

  • San Francisco Giants RF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) knocked in five runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2007 game.