On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on September 4 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.

Several former hoopers from Big Apple universities - Hank Greenberg (NYU), Andy Karl (Manhattan) and Marius Russo (LIU) - made MLB news on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a September 4 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • Los Angeles Angels 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) cracked two homers against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1964 game.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Jim Bibby (Fayetteville State NC backup hooper and brother of UCLA All-American Henry Bibby) fired a three-hit shutout against the New York Mets in the nightcap of a 1978 twinbill.

  • Philadelphia Athletics LF Lyle Bigbee (hoops letterman with his brother for Oregon in 1915) smacked his lone MLB homer.

  • Boston Red Sox C Gene Desautels (Holy Cross hoops letterman in 1929 and 1930) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Athletics in the opener of a 1938 doubleheader.

  • Detroit Tigers rookie 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) collected five RBI against the Chicago White Sox in a 1933 contest.

  • Chicago White Sox rookie RHP Paul Gregory (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1929-30) didn't allow an earned run in a complete-game, 5-1 win against the St. Louis Browns in the nightcap of a 1932 twinbill.

  • The Boston Braves started a streak of nine consecutive doubleheaders in 1928 by losing the opener, 3-2, to Brooklyn on a 10th-inning homer by 2B Jake Flowers (hooper for Washington College MD "Flying Pentagon" squad in 1923).

  • San Diego Padres RF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1996 game.

  • RHP Jim Hearn (Georgia Tech hoops letterman in 1941-42) and New York Giants teammate Sal Maglie each hurled a shutout in a 1950 twinbill against the Philadelphia Phillies.

  • RHP Andy Karl (Manhattan hoops letterman in mid-1930s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs in 1943. Karl refused to report to his new team the following spring.

  • 1B Jack Phillips (leading scorer for 14-1 Clarkson NY in 1942-43) traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Chicago White Sox in 1954.

  • St. Louis Cardinals rookie C Dave Ricketts (three-year starter led Duquesne in scoring senior season with 17.9 ppg in 1956-57) ripped his lone MLB homer (against Pittsburgh Pirates in opener of 1967 doubleheader).

  • New York Yankees rookie LHP Marius Russo (member of LIU teams compiling 50-2 record in 1934-35 and 1935-36 under legendary coach Clair Bee) hurled his second shutout in less than three weeks in 1939.

  • Kansas City Royals LHP Paul Splittorff (runner-up in scoring and rebounding for Morningside IA in 1967-68) twirled the second of back-to-back shutouts in 1975.

  • Philadelphia Athletics 3B Billy Werber (first Duke hoops All-American in 1929-30) banged out three hits in both ends of a 1937 twinbill against the Boston Red Sox.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Frank Wurm (acknowledged as best hooper for Middlebury VT in 1945-46) walked five batters in 1/3 of an inning in his lone MLB appearance and start (against Boston Braves in nightcap of 1944 doubleheader).