On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 16 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.

Springfield, MO-area small college Drury had two former hoopers - Roy Smalley Jr. and Bill Virdon - impact MLB on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 16 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 16

  • Chicago Cubs RF Frankie Baumholtz (MVP in 1941 NIT and first player in Ohio University history to score 1,000 career points) banged out three extra-base hits in a 14-4 rout of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951.

  • Cleveland Indians SS Lou Boudreau (leading scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) went 4-for-4 against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1948 twinbill.

  • St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California hoops letterman from 1922 through 1924) amassed five hits and four RBI in a 9-8 win against the Chicago Cubs in 1930.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF-C Joe Ferguson (hooper in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) furnished four hits, including a game-winning homer, in an 8-6 triumph against the Cincinnati Reds in 1973.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of last three seasons in late 1920s for Lebanon Valley PA) went 5-for-5 and scored four runs in 9-8 victory against the Chicago Cubs in 1930.

  • Cleveland Indians rookie RF Jim Gleeson (hoops captain and all-league honoree graduated in 1933 from Rockhurst MO) registered four hits in a 10-3 victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the opener of a 1940 doubleheader.

  • Utilityman Chuck Harmon (freshman starter was Toledo's second-leading scorer for 1943 NIT runner-up) traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for INF Alex Grammas and OF Joe Frazier in 1956.

  • 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) notched his third two-homer contest in a four-game span in 1968.

  • Atlanta Braves 1B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg for Texas A&M in 1961-62) smacked two homers against the San Diego Padres in a 1974 contest.

  • Atlanta Braves RF David Justice (Thomas More KY assists leader in 1984-85) stroked three extra-base hits against the Colorado Rockies in a 1995 outing.

  • Boston Braves RHP Andy Karl (Manhattan letterman from 1933 through 1935) sustained his first defeat of the 1947 season after failing to allow a run in first six relief appearances.

  • 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 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1972 game.

  • A bases-loaded pinch triple by Rick Leach (averaged 15.5 ppg for Michigan's JV hoops squad in 1975-76) put the Toronto Blue Jays ahead to stay in an 8-7 triumph against the Minnesota Twins in 1984.

  • New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) had his string of 47 straight innings without issuing a walk end against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1913.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lindy McDaniel (hooper for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) fired a four-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1957.

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) whacked two homers against the Detroit Tigers in a 1979 contest.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LHP Eppa Rixey (Virginia hoops letterman in 1912 and 1914) hurled a 15-inning complete game at Cincinnati and won, 3-2, via his sacrifice fly in 1920.

  • Detroit Tigers RHP Jeff Robinson (two-time NAIA All-District 3 hoops honoree in early 1980s left Azusa Pacific CA as school's No. 9 all-time scorer) hurled a four-hit shutout against the Texas Rangers in 1990.

  • Cincinnati Reds RHP Jeff Shaw (freshman guard for Rio Grande OH squad compiling 31-5 record and reaching second round of 1985 NAIA Tournament) allowed his only earned run in 13 relief appearances during the month in 1997.

  • RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) traded by the San Diego Padres to the Oakland Athletics in 1975.

  • Washington Senators RHP Dave Sisler (All-Ivy League second-team selection for Princeton's first NCAA Tournament team in 1952) didn't allow an earned run in his first 12 relief appearances of the 1961 campaign.

  • In his debut with the Milwaukee Braves, SS Roy Smalley Jr. (one of top scorers for Drury MO in 1942-43 and 1943-44) smacked a pinch homer against the New York Giants in the nightcap of a 1954 doubleheader.

  • Washington Senators rookie RHP Dave Stenhouse (three-time All-Yankee Conference hoops selection for Rhode Island from 1952-53 through 1954-55), lowering his ERA to 0.88 through initial seven outings, won first three MLB starts in 1962.

  • Cincinnati Reds utilityman Jimmy Stewart (All-VSAC hoops selection for Austin Peay's NCAA DII Tournament teams in 1959-60 and 1960-61) contributed a pinch-hit, three-run homer against the New York Mets in a 1969 game.

  • Boston Red Sox rookie 3B Jim Tabor (Alabama hoops letterman in 1936-37) knocked in five runs against the Chicago White Sox in a 1939 contest.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates CF Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) stroked two triples against the Milwaukee Braves in a 1962 outing.

  • 1B-OF Preston Ward (second-leading scorer for Southwest Missouri State in 1946-47 and 1948-49) traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Cleveland Indians in 1956.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Tom Zachary (Guilford NC hoops letterman in 1916) hurled a 13-inning shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1935 after allowing one earned run in each of his previous two complete-game starts.