On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on October 8 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.

Three former hoopers from Pennsylvania small colleges - George Earnshaw (Swarthmore), Danny Litwhiler (Bloomsburg) and Christy Mathewson (Bucknell) - supplied significant World Series performances on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an October 8 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • New York Giants SS Alvin Dark (played basketball for LSU and USL in mid-1940s) delivered three doubles against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the 1951 World Series.

  • RHP George Earnshaw (Swarthmore PA hooper in 1922), clearly the pitching standout of the 1930 World Series, carried the Philadelphia Athletics to a decisive 7-1 triumph against the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • RHP Eddie Fisher (hooper for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) traded by the Cleveland Indians to the California Angels in 1968.

  • New York Giants 3B Frankie Frisch (Fordham hoops captain) supplied his fourth multiple-hit game in 1922 World Series to finish with a .471 batting average for champions in five outings against the New York Yankees.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer in 1955-56 and 1956-57) hurled a five-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 1967 World Series.

  • San Francisco Giants C Tom Haller (backup forward for Illinois in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Harry Combes) supplied a go-ahead homer off Whitey Ford in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the 1962 World Series.

  • RHP Oral Hildebrand (All-American hooper for Butler in 1928-29 and 1929-30) hurled four scoreless innings as the New York Yankees' starter in Game 4 of the 1939 World Series when they swept the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Boston Red Sox LHP Bruce Hurst (J.C. hooper for Dixie UT in mid-1970s) secured a 9-2 victory against the California Angels in Game 2 of the 1986 ALCS.

  • New York Yankees RF Charlie Keller (Maryland three-year hoops letterman from 1934-35 through 1936-37) broke up a scoreless duel with a seventh-inning homer en route to a 7-4 success against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 4 of the 1939 World Series.

  • St. Louis Cardinals LF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV hoops squad with Bloomsburg PA in mid-1930s) delivered a homer and double in a 2-0 win against the St. Louis Browns in Game 5 of the 1944 World Series.

  • Chicago Cubs CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) supplied four hits against the Florida Marlins in Game 2 of the 2003 NLCS.

  • In Game 2, RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) hurled a 10-inning shutout for the New York Giants' lone victory against the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1913 World Series.

  • LF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) capped off a six-run, fourth-inning eruption with a two-run homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the 1959 World Series crown with a 9-3 triumph against the Chicago White Sox in Game 6.

  • RHP Roy Parmelee (hoops letterman for Eastern Michigan in 1924-25 and 1925-26) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1936.

  • New York Yankees 3B Red Rolfe (played hoops briefly with Dartmouth in 1927-28 and 1929-30) provided a pair of doubles in a 5-1 win against the New York Giants in Game 3 of the 1937 World Series.

  • New York Yankees LF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) delivered a triple among his postseason career-high three hits in a 3-0 win against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2 of the 1981 ALDS.

  • Kansas City Royals RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) fanned seven Houston Astros batters in four innings of relief in the opener of 2015 ALDS.