On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on September 6 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 North Carolina colleges - Vince Colbert (East Carolina), Dick Groat (Duke) and Don Padgett (Lenoir-Rhyne) - 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 6 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:


  • RHP Andy Benes (briefly played basketball for Evansville in 1985-86) defeated his brother, Alan, when the St. Louis Cardinals erupted for 11 third-inning runs in an 11-2 nod over the Chicago Cubs in 2002.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Carson "Skeeter" Bigbee (Oregon hoops letterman in 1915) collected four hits and four runs against the Chicago Cubs in a 1919 game.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) clobbered a two-run homer in the 10th inning in a 3-1 verdict over the Boston Red Sox, giving Lefty Grove his 25th triumph in 1930.

  • RHP Vince Colbert (averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg for East Carolina in 1966-67 and 1967-68) didn't allow a run in eight innings of a 1-0 triumph against the Baltimore Orioles in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Colbert supplied two complete-game victories the remainder of the month to finish as the Cleveland Indians' only winning hurler (7-6) with 10 or more starts in 1971.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers C Joe Ferguson (hooper in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) provided three extra-base hits and four RBI against the San Francisco Giants in a 1978 contest.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates SS Dick Groat (two-time All-American with Duke in 1950-51 and 1951-52 when finishing among nation's top five scorers each season) suffered a broken wrist in 1960.

  • Oakland Athletics 3B Wayne Gross (Cal Poly Pomona assists leader in 1974-75) whacked two homers against the Chicago White Sox in a 1983 game.

  • Washington Senators 1B Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection when leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding in 1956-57 and 1957-58) hammered two homers among his five hits against the Detroit Tigers in a 1970 contest.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (Maryland hoops letterman from 1934-35 through 1936-37) knocked in five runs against the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a 1945 twinbill.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) knocked in the decisive run with a triple as he reached the 20-win plateau in 1930 with a 2-1 decision over the Cleveland Indians, snapping Wes Ferrell's 13-game winning streak.

  • New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) fanned 14 Brooklyn batters in a 6-2 triumph in 1906.

  • Gene Michael (Kent State's leading scorer with 14 ppg in 1957-58) fired as New York Yankees manager in 1981 despite winning the first-half pennant.

  • Minnesota Twins 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) whacked his first MLB homer in 1968. The round-tripper came off 31-game winner Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers.

  • Chicago Cubs RF Bill Nicholson (hoops guard for Washington College MD two years in mid-1930s) belted two homers against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1947 game.

  • St. Louis Cardinals rookie RF Don Padgett (freshman in 1934 with Lenoir-Rhyne NC excelled in multiple sports) went 4-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the nightcap of a 1937 twinbill to trigger a 12-game hitting streak.

  • In the midst of closing out the 1952 campaign with eight consecutive complete-game wins, Philadelphia Phillies RHP Robin Roberts (Michigan State's second-leading scorer in 1945-46 and 1946-47) went the distance in a 17-inning, 7-6 victory against the Boston Braves in 1952.

  • In 1948, Boston Braves Hall of Fame LHP Warren Spahn twice picked off Brooklyn Dodgers INF Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41).

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Preacher Roe (Harding AR hooper in late 1930s) won his 10th straight decision in 1953.

  • Bill Virdon (Drury MO hooper in 1949) fired as Pittsburgh Pirates manager in 1973. Virdon is replaced by Danny Murtaugh, who assumed control of the club for the fourth and final time.

  • Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) went 5-for-5 and scored four runs against the New York Giants in the nightcap of a 1924 doubleheader.