On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 5 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 Kentucky small colleges - "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State) and David Justice (Thomas More) - made MLB postseason competition news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an October 5 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • RHP Ralph Branca (sixth-leading basketball scorer for NYU in 1943-44) won Game 6 of the 1947 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was helped by Al Gionfriddo's famous catch of New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio's long drive to left field.

  • Milwaukee Braves OF John DeMerit (Wisconsin hoops letterman in 1956-57) served as a pinch-runner in Game 3 of the 1957 World Series.

  • New York Giants 3B Frankie Frisch (Fordham hoops captain) went 4-for-4 against the New York Yankees in the opener of the 1921 World Series.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of last three seasons in late 1920s with Lebanon Valley PA) hit safely in first four World Series games against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1930.

  • New York Giants INF Eddie Grant (paced Harvard's freshman hoops squad in scoring in 1902 and played varsity as sophomore before declared ineligible for receiving money in independent summer baseball league) died from German shelling in 1918 in the Argonne Forest, France, during WWI while in charge of his battalion after his commanding officer was killed.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Mark Hendrickson (two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection was Washington State's leading rebounder each season from 1992-93 through 1995-96) allowed his only hit in three scoreless relief appearances against the New York Mets in the 2006 NLDS.

  • 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) went 3-for-3, including a two-run double putting the Brooklyn Dodgers ahead for good, in a 13-8 win against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series. Three years later in the 1959 WS, Hodges' homer in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Dodgers a 5-4 triumph against the Chicago White Sox in Game 4.

  • New York Giants LF Monte Irvin (Lincoln PA hooper 1 1/2 years in late 1930s) hit safely seven straight times in the 1951 World Series against the New York Yankees.

  • Baltimore Orioles 2B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg in 1961-62 with Texas A&M) homered in back-to-back 1970 ALCS games against the Minnesota Twins.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52), blanked by Dave McNally and Moe Drabowsky of the Baltimore Orioles in the 1966 opener, went hitless for the only time in his last nine World Series contests.

  • DH David Justice (Thomas More KY assists leader in 1984-85 while averaging 9.3 ppg) homered off Dwight Gooden to help the Cleveland Indians square their 1997 ALDS at two games apiece with the New York Yankees.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (Maryland three-year hoops letterman from 1934-35 through 1936-37) contributed four hits, including a go-ahead, two-run double in the ninth inning, in a 7-4 victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 4 of the 1941 World Series.

  • 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) contributed a homer and triple while knocking in three runs in a 4-0 decision over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of 1978 NLCS.

  • CF Bake McBride (averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 21 games with Westminster MO in 1968-69 and 1969-70) accounted for the Philadelphia Phillies' lone run with a homer in a 7-1 setback against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1977 NLCS.

  • 2B Buddy Myer (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1923-24) manufactured three hits, scored the Washington Senators' first run and drove in their last two runs in a 4-0 win against the New York Giants in Game 3 of the 1933 World Series.

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Claude Passeau (hoops letterman with Millsaps MS in late 1920s and early 1930s) hurled a one-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series.

  • RHP Nels Potter (leading scorer during two years he attended Mount Morris IL in early 1930s) selected from the St. Louis Cardinals by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1937 Rule 5 draft.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RHP Robin Roberts (Michigan State's second-leading scorer in 1945-46 and 1946-47) lost Game 2 of the 1950 World Series against the New York Yankees, 2-1, on Joe DiMaggio's leadoff homer in the 10th inning.

  • New York Giants RHP Hal Schumacher (St. Lawrence NY hooper in early 1930s) notched the victory in Game 5 of the 1936 World Series against the New York Yankees. Schumacher lost Game 2 three days earlier.

  • Kansas City Royals LHP Paul Splittorff (runner-up in scoring and rebounding for Morningside IA in 1967-68) yielded only one hit in combining with Rich Gale (led New Hampshire with 7.2 rpg in 1975-76) for a 4-0 triumph against the Minnesota Twins in 1980.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Ray Washburn (Whitworth WA scoring leader named All-Evergreen Conference in 1958-59 and 1959-60) won Game 3 of the 1968 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

  • In 1985, RF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) became the first New York Yankee to collect 100 RBI and score 100 runs in a single season since Joe DiMaggio in 1942.