On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 3 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 hoopers from seven universities reaching Final Four at some point in their history - Jim Beattie (Dartmouth), Ralph Branca (NYU), Alvin Dark (LSU), Buddy Myer (Mississippi State), Steve Renko (Kansas), Moose Skowron (Purdue) and Randy Winn (Santa Clara) - 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 3 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • New York Yankees rookie RHP Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) won the opener of the 1978 ALCS against the Kansas City Royals, yielding only two hits in 5 1/3 innings.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers RHP Ralph Branca (sixth-leading scorer for NYU in 1943-44) sustained his sixth setback of the 1951 season against the New York Giants when Bobby Thomson hit the "shot heard round the world" (three-run homer in bottom of ninth inning) to decide the N.L. playoff. A single by SS Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) started the rally climaxed by Thomson's historic blast.

  • 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named state's "Mr. Basketball") traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1958.

  • Jim Fanning (Buena Vista IA hooper in late 1940s) resigned as Montreal Expos manager in 1982.

  • Baltimore Orioles RHP Dick Hall (averaged 12.8 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 with Swarthmore PA for three Southern Division champions in MASC) earned the win with 4 2/3 innings of one-hit relief against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of the 1970 ALCS. Six years earlier, Hall improved his record to 9-1 by closing out the 1964 campaign with his 13th straight scoreless relief appearance.

  • Cleveland Indians LF David Justice (Thomas More KY assists leader in 1984-85 while averaging 9.3 ppg) collected two doubles, including a two-run safety in the eighth inning, in a 2-1 win against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 to clinch the 1998 ALDS.

  • LHP Bill Krueger (led WCAC in free-throw percentage as a Portland freshman in 1975-76) traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1988.

  • Milwaukee Braves SS Johnny Logan (Binghamton hooper in 1948-49) smacked the first homer of the 1957 World Series (third inning of Game 2 against New York Yankees).

  • In 1904, New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) fanned 16 St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-1 triumph.

  • Washington Senators 2B Buddy Myer (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1923-24) committed three errors in the opener of the 1933 World Series against the New York Giants.

  • RF Bill Nicholson (hooper for Washington College MD in mid-1930s) provided a two-run triple to fuel a four-run, first-inning outburst sparking the Chicago Cubs to a 9-0 win against the Detroit Tigers in the opener of the 1945 World Series.

  • Chicago White Sox OF Gary Redus (J.C. hooper for Athens AL and father of Centenary/South Alabama guard with same name) collected five RBI against the Oakland Athletics in a 1987 game.

  • Despite striking out seven consecutive New York Mets hitters, Montreal Expos RHP Steve Renko (averaged 9.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg as Kansas sophomore in 1963-64) had his record fall to 1-10 with a 5-2 defeat against Hall of Famer Tom Seaver in the opener of a 1972 doubleheader.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Preacher Roe (Harding AR hooper in late 1930s) registered a complete-game victory against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the 1952 World Series.

  • New York Yankees 1B Bill "Moose" Skowron (scored 18 points in eight games for Purdue in 1949-50) smashed a three-run, first-inning homer to ignite a 5-1 Game 6 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1955 World Series.

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) secured a save against the San Diego Padres in Game 2 of the 1984 NLCS.

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays CF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) ripped a grand slam in a 6-2 triumph against the New York Yankees in 1999.