On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 10 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.

Two former hoopers from Iowa small colleges - Davey Lopes (Iowa Wesleyan) and Paul Splittorff (Morningside) - supplied significant MLB postseason competition performances on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an October 10 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Texas Rangers RHP Mike Adams (played basketball for Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1996-97) registered the victory in Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers after posting holds in his first four postseason relief appearance that year.

  • OF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati hoops letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) and LHP Jim Mooney (hooper for East Tennessee State) traded by the New York Giants to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932.

  • Increasing his hitting streak in World Series competition to eight in a row, Philadelphia Athletics SS Jack Barry (hoops letterman for Holy Cross in 1908) banged out two doubles among three safeties against the New York Giants in Game 4 of 1913 World Series.

  • 1B Kevin "Chuck" Connors (scored 32 points in 15 varsity games for Seton Hall in 1941-42 before leaving school for military service) traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers to the Chicago Cubs in 1950. Connors, star of the television series The Rifleman, gained critical acclaim playing the role of a slave owner in the TV mini-series Roots (1977).

  • In the 1961 expansion draft, the New York Mets selected RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman hoops team) from the Los Angeles Dodgers, OF John DeMerit (hoops letterman for Wisconsin in 1956-57) from the Milwaukee Braves, 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) from the Dodgers and RHP Jay Hook (Northwestern's third-leading scorer with 10.7 ppg as sophomore in 1955-56) from the Cincinnati Reds. The same expansion draft also had the Houston Colt .45s selecting 1B-OF Dick Gernert (letterman with Temple in 1948-49 when averaging 2.7 ppg) from the Reds and RHP Jim Umbricht (Georgia's hoops captain in 1951-52) from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • Baltimore Orioles LHP Mike Flanagan (averaged 13.9 ppg for Massachusetts' 15-1 freshman squad in 1971-72 when Rick Pitino and Al Skinner were members of hoop program) won the 1979 World Series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • New York Yankees rookie OF Harvey Hendrick (Vanderbilt hoops letterman in 1918) made his lone World Series at-bat in 1923 opener against the New York Giants.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) lashed a Game 4 homer in a 7-2 win against the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers C Ernie Krueger (Lake Forest IL hoops captain graduated in 1915) collected his only World Series hit (against Cleveland Indians in Game 5 in 1920).

  • OF Joe Lahoud (hoops letterman for New Haven CT in mid-1960s) traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers in a 10-player swap in 1971.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) reached base five times with three hits and two walks against the Seattle Mariners in the opener of the 1995 ALCS.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg as All-Iowa Conference freshman selection in 1964-65 and 12.1 as sophomore in 1965-66 before transferring with his coach to Washburn KS) collected two homers and five RBI in an 11-5 triumph against the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 1978 World Series.

  • Houston Astros RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) hurled 10 shutout innings in winning his first postseason game (against Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of 1980 NLCS).

  • Los Angeles Dodgers CF Billy North (played hoops briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) stroked a pinch two-run double in the 1978 World Series opener against the New York Yankees. North contributed only one more hit in 24 other career at-bats in WS competition.

  • Breaking up a scoreless duel in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series, Detroit Tigers RF Jim Northrup (second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for Alma MI in 1958-59) stroked a decisive seventh-inning triple off St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer in 1955-56 and 1956-57). Gibson won his previous seven WS starts.

  • Washington Senators RHP Curly Ogden (Swarthmore PA hoops center in 1919, 1920 and 1922) started Game 7 of the 1924 World Series as a decoy to get Bill Terry out of the New York Giants' lineup.

  • New York Yankees LHP Marius Russo (member of LIU teams compiling a 50-2 record in 1934-35 and 1935-36 under legendary coach Clair Bee) hurled a complete game and knocked in the decisive run with a double in a 2-1 decision over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the 1943 World Series.

  • 1B Bill "Moose" Skowron (scored 18 points in eight games for Purdue in 1949-50) smashed a grand slam to help the New York Yankees win Game 7 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  • Kansas City Royals LHP Paul Splittorff (runner-up in scoring and rebounding for Morningside IA in 1967-68) won Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS with 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief against the New York Yankees.

  • Philadelphia Athletics SS Dib Williams (Hendrix AR hooper in mid-1920s) delivered his third two-hit outing of the 1931 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.