On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on July 9 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 - Clyde Barnhart (Shippensburg predecessor Cumberland Valley State), Charlie Gelbert (Lebanon Valley) and Monte Irvin (Lincoln) - made MLB news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a July 9 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Detroit Tigers RHP Elden Auker (All-Big Six Conference first-five basketball selection with Kansas State in 1931-32) tossed a four-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox. The whitewash was one of four complete-game wins for Auker during the month in 1938.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Clyde Barnhart (hooper for Shippensburg PA predecessor Cumberland Valley State Normal School prior to World War I) banged out four hits in a 12-3 win against the New York Giants in the opener of a 1925 doubleheader.

  • Cleveland Indians SS Lou Boudreau (leading scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) went 2-for-2 in the 1941 All-Star Game.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RHP Gene Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as Washington State sophomore) hurled his second shutout in a nine-day span in 1959.

  • California Angels OF Billy Cowan (co-captain of Utah's 1960 NCAA hoops playoff team) tied a MLB record in 1971 by fanning six times against the Oakland A's in the longest shutout in A.L. history (1-0 in 20 innings).

  • Brooklyn Dodgers RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman hoops team) relieved in the third inning and hurled 11 scoreless frames en route to a 4-3 win against the Milwaukee Braves in 1959.

  • Philadelphia Athletics RF Walt French (hoops letterman for Rutgers and Army) furnished four hits against the Chicago White Sox in 1926.

  • INF Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of his last three seasons with Lebanon Valley PA in late 1920s) awarded on waivers from the Cincinnati Reds to the Detroit Tigers in 1937.

  • SS Dick Groat (two-time All-American with Duke in 1950-51 and 1951-52 when finishing among nation's top five scorers each season) was part of the St. Louis Cardinals' entire N.L. starting infield in the 1963 All-Star Game, including 1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram OH in early 1950s), 2B Julian Javier and 3B Ken Boyer.

  • Detroit Tigers C Tom Haller (backup forward for Illinois in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Harry Combes) provided a double, triple and decisive ninth-inning homer against the Chicago White Sox in 1972.

  • New York Giants RHP Jim Hearn (Georgia Tech hoops letterman in 1941-42) hit two homers at the Polo Grounds in a 10-2 victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.

  • 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) tied a MLB record with seven strikeouts in a doubleheader split with the Boston Red Sox in 1965. Two years later, Howard hammered two homers against the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a 1967 twinbill.

  • New York Giants LF Monte Irvin (Lincoln PA hooper 1 1/2 years in late 1930s) homered in his fourth consecutive contest in 1954.

  • Philadelphia Phillies 1B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg with Texas A&M in 1961-62) delivered three extra-base hits and five RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1977 game.

  • New York Yankees RF Charlie Keller (Maryland three-year hoops letterman from 1934-35 through 1936-37) opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Chicago Cubs RHP Claude Passeau (Millsaps MS hooper in late 1920s and early 1930s) in the first inning as the A.L. blitzed the N.L., 12-0, in the 1946 All-Star Game.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling a 35-3 record) contributed two hits and two stolen bases for the A.L. in the 1996 All-Star Game.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) blanked the Philadelphia Athletics, 7-0, in the opener of a 1932 twinbill, snapping Hall of Famer Lefty Grove's 11-game winning streak.

  • OF-1B Len Matuszek (starter for Toledo's 18-7 team in 1975-76) traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Los Angeles Dodgers for OF Al Oliver in 1985.

  • In the midst of a 22-game hitting streak in 1953, Chicago White Sox RF Sam Mele (NYU's leading scorer in 1943 NCAA playoffs) homered in each contest of a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

  • OF Lyle Mouton (starter in LSU's backcourt with All-American Chris Jackson for 1989 NCAA playoff team) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Cleveland Indians in 2003.

  • Cleveland Indians 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) homered in both ends of a 1972 doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.

  • Atlanta Braves RHP Ron Reed (Notre Dame's leading rebounder in 1963-64 and 1964-65) got the first two outs in the ninth inning, including whiffing Baltimore Orioles 2B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg with Texas A&M in 1961-62), to help the N.L. blank the A.L., 1-0, in the 1968 All-Star Game.

  • New York Yankees rookie RHP Steve Roser (Clarkson NY hoops center in late 1930s before bypassing senior season) registered the lone complete game of his MLB career (8-2 win against Detroit Tigers in nightcap of 1944 doubleheader).

  • New York Yankees rookie RHP Rollie Sheldon (third-leading scorer as sophomore for Connecticut's 1960 NCAA Tournament team) tossed the second of back-to-back shutouts in 1961.

  • RHP Tim Stoddard (starting forward opposite All-American David Thompson for North Carolina State's 1974 NCAA champion) traded by the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees for P Ed Whitson in 1986.

  • Detroit Tigers C Birdie Tebbetts (Providence hooper in 1932) banged out three hits in both ends of a 1939 twinbill against the Chicago White Sox.

  • Minnesota Twins RF Dave Winfield (starting forward for Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) went 4-for-4 against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1993 in the midst of homering in back-to-back games three times during the month.

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays RF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) stroked a double for the A.L. off Los Angeles Dodgers P Eric Gagne in the 2002 All-Star Game.