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

Former NYU hoopers Ralph Branca and Hank Greenberg supplied significant MLB performances on this date. Ditto Big Apple hooper Babe Young (Fordham). Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a September 5 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • RHP Ralph Branca (sixth-leading basketball scorer for NYU in 1943-44) earned the victory as Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) hammered a grand slam in a 5-2 verdict over the Philadelphia Phillies in 1951.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman team) won his sixth straight decision in 1960.

  • New York Giants SS Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL in mid-1940s) provided three extra-base hits in a 1953 game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA hoops titlist) homered in both ends of a 1955 twinbill split against the Kansas City Athletics.

  • Philadelphia Athletics RHP George Earnshaw (Swarthmore PA hooper in 1922) tossed a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in 1931.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates rookie 3B Gene Freese (West Liberty WV hoops captain of 1952 NAIA Tournament team) homered twice against the New York Giants in the opener of a 1955 doubleheader.

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Dick Gernert (Temple hoops letterman in 1948-49 when averaging 2.7 ppg) collected four hits and three runs against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1958 game.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) launched a homer for the third consecutive contest in 1939.

  • Baltimore Orioles 2B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg for Texas A&M in 1961-62) knocked in five runs in an 8-4 win against the Detroit Tigers in 1969.

  • Chicago White Sox rookie RF Lyle Mouton (starter in LSU's backcourt with All-American Chris Jackson for 1989 NCAA playoff team) went 6-for-7 with three doubles in first two contests of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers in 1995.

  • Boston Red Sox 3B Buddy Myer (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1923-24) doubled before scoring the winning run in the 18th inning of a 12-11 decision over the New York Yankees in the opener of a 1927 doubleheader.

  • Atlanta Braves RHP Cecil Upshaw (Centenary's leading scorer as junior in 1962-63) notched four saves and a victory in five-game span of relief appearances in the midst of holding opponents scoreless in last 13 outings of 1972 campaign.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates CF Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) accounted for the game's only run when he blasted a 10th-inning homer against the Milwaukee Braves in 1958.

  • Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) collected two homers and five RBI against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the opener of a 1922 twinbill.

  • New York Yankees LF Dave Winfield (starting forward for Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) delivered two homers and double in a 1982 contest against the Kansas City Royals.

  • New York Giants CF Babe Young (Fordham hoops letterman in 1935-36) knocked in five runs in a 1942 outing against the Brooklyn Dodgers.