On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 2 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.

Ex-hoopers from five current and former Big East Conference members - Danny Coombs (Seton Hall), Walt Dropo (Connecticut), Bob Gibson (Creighton), Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati) and Birdie Tebbetts (Providence) - made MLB news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an October 2 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Chicago Cubs RHP Dale Alderson (All-Iowa Conference basketball selection for Upper Iowa in 1938-39 and 1939-40) lost his lone MLB decision (2-0 against Boston Braves in 1943).

  • Philadelphia Athletics LHP Stan Baumgartner (hooper for University of Chicago's Big Ten Conference champion in 1913-14) hurled a six-hit shutout against the New York Yankees in 1925, holding both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hitless.

  • RHP Ralph Branca (sixth-leading scorer for NYU in 1943-44) yielded the first pinch-hit homer in World Series history (by Yogi Berra of New York Yankees in 1947) but the Brooklyn Dodgers still prevailed in Game 3, 9-8. Two days earlier, Branca lost Game 1 when he was knocked out in the fifth inning.

  • New York Yankees OF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's career scoring list in 1949-50 when finishing his career) pounded a pinch homer off the Brooklyn Dodgers' winning rookie RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman hoops team) in Game 5 of the 1955 World Series.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) contributed both of his homers in 31 World Series contests in the first two outings against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1930.

  • CF Earle Combs (three-year hoops captain for Eastern Kentucky) clubbed a homer and scored four runs as the New York Yankees swept the 1932 World Series by crushing the Chicago Cubs, 13-6. It was the Bronx Bombers' 12th straight WS game win.

  • In 1964, Houston Colt .45s LHP Danny Coombs (Seton Hall's third-leading scorer and rebounder as sophomore in 1961-62) notched his first MLB victory, holding the Los Angeles Dodgers scoreless over five innings as a starter.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers RHP Jack Coombs (hoops captain and starting center for Colby ME) hurled a shutout, beating the New York Giants for the sixth time in as many decisions in 1916.

  • SS Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL in mid-1940s) extended his World Series competition hitting streak to 12 in a row with three safeties in Game 4 as the New York Giants finished their sweep of the Cleveland Indians in 1954.

  • CF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA hoops titlist) contributed four hits as the Cleveland Indians assure themselves of a tie for the 1948 A.L. title with an 8-0 triumph against the Detroit Tigers.

  • In 1950, Boston Red Sox 1B Walt Dropo (Connecticut's first player ever to average 20 points for season with 21.7 in 1942-43) became the first player to surpass 100 with more RBI (144) than games played (136).

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) hammered his MLB-leading 40th homer in 1985, becoming the first player to reach such a plateau in each league (41 round-trippers for Atlanta Braves in 1973).

  • In the opener of the 1968 World Series, St. Louis Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer in 1955-56 and 1956-57) outdueled 30-game winner Denny McLain, 4-0, and established a WS record by fanning 17 Detroit Tigers.

  • Cleveland Indians 1B Mike Hargrove (Northwestern Oklahoma State hoops letterman) went 4-for-4 against the Seattle Mariners in a 1985 contest.

  • 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) fired as New York Mets manager in 1983.

  • In 1966, Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman hoops squad in 1953-54) concluded his final season with career bests of 27 victories and 1.73 ERA. The previous year, Koufax finished with a single-season MLB-mark 382 strikeouts after fanning 13 Milwaukee Braves batters. In the 1963 World Series opener, the first five batters he faced whiffed en route to 15 strikeouts in a 5-2 win against the New York Yankees.

  • CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling a 35-3 record) supplied a homer to help the Cleveland Indians edge the New York Yankees, 4-3, in Game 3 of their 1998 A.L. playoff series.

  • Rookie RF Bud Metheny (hoops letterman for William & Mary from 1935-36 through 1937-38) belted a first-game homer against the St. Louis Browns to help power the New York Yankees to their 14th sweep of a doubleheader in 1943.

  • New York Yankees rookie RHP Zach Monroe (played hoops briefly for Bradley in 1950-51) hurled one inning of relief against the Milwaukee Braves in Game 2 of the 1958 World Series.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LF Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) registered a postseason career-high three hits in a 3-2 win against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the 1953 World Series.

  • Chicago Cubs LF Riggs Stephenson (Alabama hoops letterman in 1920) stroked four hits against the Cincinnati Reds in a 1929 contest.

  • Detroit Tigers C Birdie Tebbetts (Providence hooper in 1932) closed out the 1938 campaign with four multiple-hit games in a row.

  • C Wes Westrum (Bemidji State MN hooper one season before serving in military during WWII) supplied two sacrifice flies for the New York Giants to help them defeat the Cleveland Indians, 7-4, in Game 4 and sweep the 1954 World Series.