On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 12 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 Washington State hoops starters Gene Conley and Ted Tappe had significant MLB performances on this date.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 12 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 12

  • In 1984, Seattle Mariners RHP Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected basketball team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) registered his second shutout in last four starts.

  • Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) suffered a broken leg sliding into second base, missing most of the remainder of the 1978 season.

  • Milwaukee Braves RHP Gene Conley (All-Pacific Coast Conference first-team selection led North Division in scoring as Washington State sophomore in 1949-50) toiled 12 innings in prevailing, 2-1, ending the Dodgers' streak from the start of the 1955 season of 25 consecutive contests where they led at some point in the game. It was one of five straight wins for Conley during the month following a setback when he went 11 1/3 innings at Brooklyn.

  • CF Billy Cowan (Utah letterman from 1957-58 through 1959-60 was co-captain of NCAA playoff team as senior) rapped a game-winning, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the California Angels a 6-5 win against the Boston Red Sox in 1970.

  • In 1940, Cincinnati Reds CF Harry Craft (four-sport letterman with Mississippi College in early 1930s) contributed three hits in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals for the second straight day.

  • In 1930, Philadelphia Athletics RHP George Earnshaw (Swarthmore PA hooper in 1922) committed three balks and Cleveland Indians counterpart Milt Shoffner had five balks (three in third inning).

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF Joe Ferguson (played in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) jacked a homer in his third consecutive contest against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 2B Frankie Frisch (Fordham hoops captain) supplied four hits against the Brooklyn Robins in a 1929 game.

  • LHP Johnny Gee (sixth-leading scorer in Big Ten Conference for Michigan's 16-4 team in 1936-37) purchased from the Pittsburgh Pirates by the New York Giants in 1944.

  • Boston Red Sox LF Dick Gernert (Temple hoops letterman in 1948-49 when averaging 2.7 ppg) contributed two homers and six RBI but it wasn't enough to prevent a 12-9 reversal against the Washington Senators in 1956.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1955-56 and 1956-57) struck out the side on nine pitches in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969.

  • After seven scoreless relief appearances, Philadelphia Phillies RHP Dallas Green (Delaware's runner-up in scoring and rebounding in 1954-55) made his first start of 1963 campaign. The next year, Green yielded his only run covering first eight relief stints of 1964.

  • Washington Senators 3B Chuck Hinton (played multiple sports for Shaw NC before serving two years in U.S. Army in mid-1950s) hammered a homer for the Nats' lone safety in the nightcap of a 1963 twinbill at Boston.

  • New York Mets 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) hit a ninth-inning, game-ending HR in the nightcap of a 1962 doubleheader. Teammate Hobie Landrith did the same thing in the opener against the Milwaukee Braves.

  • Baltimore Orioles RHP Ben McDonald (started six games as 6-6 freshman for Louisiana State in 1986-87 under coach Dale Brown) squared off against 6-10 Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners in 1991 in the tallest starting pitching matchup in MLB history.

  • St. Louis Cardinals rookie CF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) notched his second five-hit game and scored five runs in a 13-5 pounding of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954.

  • Chicago Cubs RF Ted Tappe (leading scorer in 1949 NJCAA Tournament was Washington State's third-leading scorer following year) opened the game's scoring with an RBI double and closed scoring with a homer off Vern Law when Sam Jones no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0, in 1955.

  • Washington Senators 2B Wayne Terwilliger (two-year hoops letterman for Western Michigan averaged 5.6 ppg in final season in 1947-48) stroked four hits against the Detroit Tigers in a 1953 outing.

  • SS Billy Werber (first Duke hoops All-American in 1929-30) purchased from the New York Yankees by the Boston Red Sox in 1933.

  • Boston Braves 3B Chuck Workman (two-time All-MIAA first-five selection was leading scorer in 1937 when Central Missouri won inaugural NAIA Tournament) slugged a homer in his third consecutive contest in 1945.

  • LHP Tom Zachary (Guilford NC hoops letterman in 1916) awarded on waivers from the New York Yankees to the Boston Braves in 1930.