Stately Procession: Five New Mentors Previously Coached In Same State

Five new mentors - John Groce (Akron), Jim Hayford (Seattle), Kevin Keatts (North Carolina State), Bobby McCullum (Florida A&M) and Paul Weir (New Mexico) - previously coached another NCAA Division I university in the same state. After former Xavier pilot Thad Matta departed from Ohio State, following is an alphabetical list of the 17 active coaches presently a bench boss in same state where they previously coached another DI school:

Head Coach State Current DI School Previous DI School in Same State
Tad Boyle CO Colorado (since 2010-11) Northern Colorado (2006-07 through 2009-10)
Ken Burmeister TX Incarnate Word (since 2006-07) Texas-San Antonio (1986-87 through 1989-90)
Fran Dunphy PA Temple (since 2006-07) Penn (1989-90 through 2005-06)
Cliff Ellis* SC Coastal Carolina (since 2007-08) Clemson (1984-84 through 1993-94)
John Groce OH Akron (since 2017-18) Ohio University (2008-09 through 2011-12)
Leonard Hamilton FL Florida State (since 2002-03) Miami FL (1990-91 through 1999-00)
Jim Hayford WA Seattle (since 2017-18) Eastern Washington (2011-12 through 2016-17)
Jeff Jones VA Old Dominion (since 2013-14) Virginia (1990-91 through 1997-98)
Danny Kaspar TX Texas State (since 2013-14) Stephen F. Austin (2000-01 through 2012-13)
Kevin Keatts NC North Carolina State (since 2017-18) UNC Wilmington (2014-15 through 2016-17)
Bobby McCullum FL Florida A&M (since 2017-18) South Florida (2003-04 through 2006-07)
Porter Moser IL Loyola of Chicago (since 2011-12) Illinois State (2003-04 through 2006-07)
Rick Pitino KY Louisville (since 2001-02) Kentucky (1989-90 through 1996-97)
Keith Richard LA Louisiana-Monroe (since 2010-11) Louisiana Tech (1998-99 through 2006-07)
Paul Weir NM New Mexico (since 2017-18) New Mexico State (2016-17)
Willis Wilson TX Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (since 2011-12) Rice (1992-93 through 2007-08)
Reggie Witherspoon NY Canisius (since 2016-17) Buffalo (1999-00 through 2012-13)

*Ellis also coached two DI schools in Alabama (South Alabama and Auburn).

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 30 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 St. Joseph's (Ind.) and Oakland City (Ind.) hooper Gil Hodges owned this date in MLB history. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 30 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 30

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Dale Alexander (starting basketball center for Milligan TN in mid-1920s) suffered a career-ending injury in 1933 (therapy for twisted knee sliding into home plate led to third-degree burns, gangrene and near loss of his leg). Four years earlier as a Detroit Tigers rookie, he launched a homer in both ends of a 1929 doubleheader split against the St. Louis Browns.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Clyde Barnhart (hooper for Shippensburg PA predecessor Cumberland Valley State Normal School prior to World War I) collected four hits, four runs scored and five RBI against the St. Louis Cardinals in the nightcap of a 1925 doubleheader.

  • Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) blasted two homers in a 3-2 win against the Kansas City Athletics in the nightcap of a 1957 twinbill.

  • RHP Ownie Carroll (Holy Cross hoops letterman in 1922) traded with Harry Rice by the Detroit Tigers in 1930 to the New York Yankees for two members of the legendary 1927 squad featuring Murderers' Row (P Waite Hoyt and SS Mark Koenig).

  • In 1955, Milwaukee Braves 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named state's Mr. Basketball) closed out the month with five multiple-hit games, homering in three of the contests.

  • San Francisco Giants 1B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college hoops crown) homered twice against the San Diego Padres in the opener of a 1977 twinbill.

  • 3B Gene Freese (hoops captain of 1952 NAIA Tournament team for West Liberty WV) whacked two homers, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 1961 doubleheader sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers 3B Wally Gilbert (Valparaiso hoops captain in early 1920s) supplied six straight safeties in a doubleheader sweep of the New York Giants in 1931.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) went 5-for-5, including four runs, two homers and five RBI, against the St. Louis Browns in a 1937 game.

  • 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) went 4-for-4 and scored four runs in the nightcap of a 1958 twinbill against the Milwaukee Braves.

  • C Frank Grube (starting hoops guard for Lafayette as senior in 1926-27), two teammates and Chicago White Sox manager Lew Fonseca involved in a fight with an umpire under the stands after a doubleheader loss at Cleveland in 1932.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) knocked in eight runs against the Boston Braves in a 1952 doubleheader sweep. The next year, Hodges homered twice against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a 1953 twinbill. In 1958 after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Hodges homered in both ends of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. Four years later, Hodges homered three times in a 1962 twinbill against the New York Mets.

  • Washington Senators LF 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 and chipped in with six RBI against the Kansas City Athletics in the opener of a 1967 twinbill.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (three-year hoops letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Athletics in the nightcap of a 1946 doubleheader.

  • RHP Cal Koonce (Campbell standout in 1960 and 1961 when North Carolina-based school was junior college), after helping the New York Mets sweep a twinbill against the Pittsburgh Pirates, didn't allow a run in his first 13 relief appearances in 1968.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Doc Lavan (Hope MI hooper from 1908 through 1910) had six hits in a 1921 twinbill sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Baltimore Orioles rookie RHP Dave Leonhard (averaged 4.8 ppg with Johns Hopkins MD in 1961-62) tossed his second shutout of the month in 1968 (two-hitter after earlier one-hitter).

  • RF Sam Mele (NYU's leading scorer in 1943 NCAA playoffs) traded by the Washington Senators to the Chicago White Sox in 1952.

  • Cleveland Indians 1B Ed Morgan (Tulane hoops letterman from 1923-24 through 1925-26) contributed five RBI in a 12-6 win against the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a 1932 doubleheader.

  • Washington Senators 3B Buddy Myer (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1923-24) hit safely in all 22 games of the month and 24 in a row overall in 1929.

  • Chicago Cubs rookie C Cal Neeman (Illinois Wesleyan's leading scorer in 1947-48 and 1948-49) hit safely in last 11 contests of the month in 1957.

  • The Chicago Cubs went 32 games in 1943 before hitting a homer prior to RF Bill Nicholson (hoops guard for Washington College MD two years in mid-1930s) knocking a couple of balls beyond the outfield barrier in a 5-1 victory over the Braves. His first of a pair of two-run blasts came in the team's 1,120th at-bat of the season.

  • 1B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) ripped a 13th-inning homer to give the Brooklyn Dodgers a 2-1 win over the New York Giants in the opener of a 1949 doubleheader.

  • Cleveland Indians LF Preston Ward (second-leading scorer for Southwest Missouri State in 1946-47 and 1948-49) walloped two homers against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1956 twinbill.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 1B Bill White (two-year hooper with Hiram OH in early 1950s) supplied two homers and six RBI against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 1960 game.

  • San Diego Padres RF Dave Winfield (starting forward for Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) knocked in five runs against the Atlanta Braves in a 1979 contest.

Beginner's Luck? Ex-Hofstra Hooper Brant Alyea Homered on 1st MLB At-Bat

How many Paul DeJongs were former college basketball players before making it on the diamond? DeJong (St. Louis Cardinals infielder) became the 118th MLB player hitting a homer in his first at-bat. Among the five ex-college hoopers homering in first at-bat on the following chronological list, Hofstra's Brant Alyea is the only one to go deep on the initial MLB pitch he faced:

Ex-Hooper College First MLB Team Date Opponent Yielding HR MLB Career HRs
Ace Parker Duke Philadelphia Phillies 4-30-37 Boston Red Sox 2
Ted Tappe Washington State Cincinnati Reds 9-14-50 Brooklyn Dodgers 5
Wally Moon Texas A&M St. Louis Cardinals 4-13-54 Chicago Cubs 142
Bill White Hiram (Ohio) New York Giants 5-7-56 St. Louis Cardinals 202
Brant Alyea* Hofstra Washington Senators 9-12-65 California Angels 38

*Alyea, who led Hofstra in scoring and rebounding in 1960-61 under coach Butch van Breda Kolff, is one of 29 players hitting homer on first MLB pitch he faced.

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 29 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 29 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 29

  • Rookie RHP Mark Acre (played in 1990 NCAA Basketball Tournament with New Mexico State) allowed his only run through 10 relief appearances to early June 1994 with the Oakland A's (0.82 ERA in first 3 1/2 weeks).

  • SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 team ending the Bears' streak of 12 straight losing records) traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Mets in 1987.

  • In 1955, Cleveland Indians RF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA hoops titlist) launched the first MLB homer over the outer wall at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium.

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Boo Ferriss (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1941) hurled his third shutout of the month in 1946.

  • In the midst of a 20-game hitting streak, New York Yankees 1B-OF Buddy Hassett (hooper for Manhattan teams winning school-record 17 consecutive games in 1930 and 1931) contributed four hits in a 16-1 rout of Washington in 1942.

  • LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) swatted two homers in a 5-3 triumph against the Milwaukee Braves in 1965.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Howie Judson (Illinois' third-leading scorer in 1944-45) ended a personal streak of 15 straight defeats with a 12-8 relief victory over the St. Louis Browns in 1950.

  • OF Jim Lyttle (led Florida State in free-throw shooting in 1965-66 when averaging 12.4 ppg) purchased from the Montreal Expos by the New York Mets in 1974.

  • RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) notched a 3-0 shutout over the Boston Braves in 1916, sparking the New York Giants to their 17th triumph in a row (all on the road).

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) socked two homers against the Oakland Athletics in a 1973 game.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RF Bill Nicholson (Washington College MD hoops guard for two years in mid-1930s) provided his third consecutive three-hit contest in 1953. Nicholson supplied only one more safety in the final 40 at-bats of his 16-year MLB career.

  • Houston Astros RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) belted the only homer of his 22-year career in 1976. The round-tripper against the Atlanta Braves came at the expense of his brother (Phil).

  • RHP Claude Passeau (Millsaps MS hooper in late 1920s and early 1930s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs in 1939.

  • LF Ray Pepper (Alabama hoops letterman in 1926-27) banged out five hits, including two homers, and drove in five runs to boost the St. Louis Browns to a 12-7 victory over the Detroit Tigers in 1934.

  • OF Curtis Pride (led William & Mary in steals three times and assists twice while averaging 5.6 ppg and 3.1 apg from 1986-87 through 1989-90) pounded a pinch homer for the Atlanta Braves against the Chicago Cubs in 1998.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LHP Eppa Rixey (Virginia hoops letterman in 1912 and 1914) yielded a ninth-inning inside-the-park homer but held on for a 4-3, 13-inning victory against Pittsburgh. It is the only homer Rixey allowed in 301 innings pitched.

  • Baltimore Orioles DH Larry Sheets (All-ODAC hoops selection in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with Eastern Mennonite VA) smacked two homers in an 8-6 win against the Oakland Athletics in 1986. Three years later, Sheets socked a round-tripper in his third of last four outings.

  • In 1926, Cleveland Indians 2B Freddy Spurgeon (Kalamazoo MI hooper in 1921-22) extended his hitting streak to 11 games in a row with eighth contest of the month boasting at least three safeties.

  • Chicago Cubs OF Bob Will (all-league athlete was Mankato State MN hoops captain in 1954-55) slugged his second pinch-hit homer in an eight-game span in 1962.

  • Second homer of game by CF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) provided the decisive tally for the San Francisco Giants in a 4-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008.

Risky Business: Jordan Hired by Butler Despite Losing Record Last Season

At the time, it seemed equivalent to betting everything on a penny stock. But it can turn into a bonanza as evidenced by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski going on to become the all-time winningest major-college mentor after arriving in Durham to homestead Krzyzewskiville on the heels of a season W-L record eight games below .500 with Army.

Could another Special K be in the mix when Derek Kellogg was hired by LIU after posting a losing mark last season with Massachusetts? Ditto at Butler, which summoned alumnus LaVall Jordan back to Indy following an anemic 11-24 ledger in his lone campaign with Milwaukee. Jordan and Kellogg join the following list of active coaches hired by their current school despite coming off a season when they posted a losing record:

Active Coach Current School Losing Season Record With Previous School
Rod Barnes Cal State Bakersfield (since 2011-12) 11-18 with Georgia State in 2010-11
Duggar Baucom The Citadel (since 2015-16) 11-19 with Virginia Military in 2014-15
Mike Davis Texas Southern (since 2012-13) 15-16 with UAB in 2011-12
Tommy Dempsey Binghamton (since 2012-13) 13-19 with Rider in 2011-12
Travis Ford Saint Louis (since 2016-17) 12-20 with Oklahoma State in 2015-16
Jeff Jones Old Dominion (since 2013-14) 10-20 with American University in 2012-13
LaVall Jordan Butler (since 2017-18) 11-24 with Milwaukee in 2016-17
Derek Kellogg LIU (since 2017-18) 15-18 with Massachusetts in 2016-17
Mike Krzyzewski Duke (since 1980-81) 9-17 with Army in 1979-80
Jeff Lebo East Carolina (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Auburn in 2009-10
Jim Les UC Davis (since 2011-12) 12-20 with Bradley in 2010-11
Greg McDermott Creighton (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Iowa State in 2009-10
Rick Ray Southeast Missouri State (since 2015-16) 13-19 with Mississippi State in 2014-15

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 28 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 28 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 28

  • In a 1954 game, Chicago Cubs CF Frankie Baumholtz (MVP in 1941 NIT and first player in Ohio University basketball history to score 1,000 career points) stroked four hits against his original team (Cincinnati Reds).

  • New York Yankees LF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's career scoring list in 1949-50 whacked a pinch grand slam against the Chicago White Sox in a 1961 contest.

  • RHP George Earnshaw (Swarthmore PA hooper in 1922) acquired by the Philadelphia Athletics from Baltimore in 1928.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) smacked two homers in an 8-3 win against the New York Yankees in 1935.

  • RF David Justice (Thomas More KY assists leader in 1984-85) provided a two-run single to spark a ninth-inning rally propelling the Atlanta Braves past the San Diego Padres, 8-6, in 1991.

  • San Francisco Giants CF Billy North (played hoops briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) stole three bases in a game for the third time this month in 1981.

  • RHP Ron Reed (Notre Dame's leading rebounder in 1963-64 and 1964-65) traded by the Atlanta Braves to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975.

  • Baltimore Orioles LF Larry Sheets (All-ODAC hoops selection in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with Eastern Mennonite VA) socked two homers against the California Angels in a 1987 outing.

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) won his first nine decisions in the 1971 campaign, posting a 1.77 ERA in April and May.

  • Entering the game with a .177 batting average, Washington Senators 2B Wayne Terwilliger (two-year hoops letterman for Western Michigan averaged 5.6 ppg in final season in 1947-48) went 3-for-3 and homered for the first of three consecutive contests in 1954 (all of his round-trippers for season in 106 outings).

  • As a substitute in a 17-inning tie, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie 3B John Werhas (USC's leading scorer in 1958-59 and 1959-60) collected a career-high three hits against the Cincinnati Reds in 1964.

  • In 1994, Minnesota Twins DH Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) collected his 3,054th MLB hit, surpassing former Twin Rod Carew into 15th place on the all-time list.

  • New York Giants CF Babe Young (Fordham hoops letterman in 1935-36) went 4-for-4 against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 1946 game.

Immortality and Honor: College Basketball's Huge Impact on Memorial Day

The fallen didn't have to worry about manipulation of waiting lists and receiving proper medical care from the VA because they didn't make it back home alive. Unless you're an inferiority-complex coward comparable to MSNBC up-tight host Chris Hayes uncomfortable with calling fallen military "heroes" or #ShrillaryRotten lying in front of caskets at Air Force base, a Memorial Day weekend generates sobering reminders of what is really important to our freedom. College basketball ultimate-sacrifice contributions are aplenty.

While Baylor's football program became Animal House, the school's basketball roster developed a reputation the past several seasons for having some "soft" players who played with the fervor of a man holding his female companion's purse at the mall much of a shopping excursion afternoon. But Baylor is believed to be the only non-service academy in America to have two former athletes go on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Both men, Jack Lummus and John "Killer" Kane, earned the nation's highest military honor for heroics in World War II. Lummus played football, basketball and baseball for the Bears from 1938 through 1941. He was an All-Southwest Conference center fielder before signing with the NFL's New York Giants.

After one year of pro football, Lummus joined the U.S. Marines and was a platoon leader in the initial days of fighting on Iwo Jima. While leading a charge on enemy positions, Lummus stepped on a land mine and lost both legs. Despite heavy bleeding, he led his platoon to knock out several pockets of Japanese fire, a vital part of the U.S. victory. Alas, Lummus died of his wounds shortly after the battle.

Kane, who also played football and basketball, was one of the survivors on Baylor's ill-fated 1927 basketball squad that lost 10 of its 21-member traveling party in a bus-train wreck en route to Austin, Tex. As a result of the "Immortal Ten" tragedy, the remainder of the first of coach Ralph Wolf's 15 seasons was cancelled, and the first highway overpass in Texas was constructed.

Kane joined the Army Air Corps in 1932 and soon became a bomber commander of legendary proportions. It was said he was the best pilot and toughest commander in the Air Corps. It was often debated who feared him more - the Germans or his own men.

On August 1, 1943, Kane led what at the time was the deadliest air battle in history - a low-level, long-range bombing raid on Hitler's oil-refining complex in Rumania. The site produced a major portion of the Axis' fuel and was one of the most heavily-guarded locations in history.

Letting freedom ring, the heroism exhibited by ex-hoopers doesn't stop there. Al Brown, Creighton's leading scorer in 1925-26, survived the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines. Amid "Taps" playing in the background and issuing kudos to research by baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com, ex-players warranting salutes for making the supreme sacrifice include:

  • All 11 regulars on Pittsburgh's 1941 Final Four team participated in World War II and one of them, guard Bob Artman, was killed in action.

  • Kentucky players who competed multiple years for the Wildcats before they were killed during WWII included Mel Brewer (Army second lieutenant/died in France), Ken England (Army captain of ski troop/Italy), James Goforth (Marine first lieutenant/Marshall Islands) and Jim King (Army second lieutenant and co-pilot/Germany). Brewer, England and King were three of the top seven scorers for UK's first NCAA Tournament and Final Four team in 1942.

  • Bart Avery, an Alabama letterman in 1942 and 1943, was killed in action on April 6, 1945, as a newly-promoted captain aiding final push against the Germans.

  • Archie Buckley, letterman from 1928 to 1930 as a Washington State forward, was a Lieutenant in charge of physical conditioning of Navy pilots aboard the USS Saratoga aircraft carrier on February 21, 1945, when he was among 123 crew members dead or missing after five Kamikaze bomb hits.

  • Young Bussey, a letterman for LSU in the late 1930s, participated in numerous landing assaults in the South Pacific during WWII before dying as head beach-master in early January 1945 in the Philippines.

  • Bob "Ace" Calkins, UCLA's top scorer in the late 1930s before Jackie Robinson arrived, was navigator on an airplane ("The Flying Fortress") gunned down during WWII. He later died in an Italian prison camp from wounds suffered in the crash.

  • John Campbell, a four-year hooper for Dickinson (Pa.), was a Second Lieutenant who failed to return from Army Air Corps sea sweep mission off northeastern Tunisia in late March 1943.

  • Edward Christl, a center and Army team captain for the Cadets' unbeaten squad in 1944, was a first lieutenant during WWII the next year when he was killed in action. Army's arena is named after him.

  • Joe Comer, captain of George Washington's 1940-41 squad, was an Army Lieutenant two years later when he died in a military plane crash.

  • Andy Curlee, Auburn's captain in late 1930s, died on April 6, 1943, when the First Lieutenant was leading his squadron in Tunisia.

  • Francis "Reds" Daly, a Georgetown letterman from 1938 through 1940, was killed in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 22, 1945.

  • George Davison, a Washington State letterman in 1943, was a Second Lieutenant on March 18, 1945, when he was killed in action while his infantry regiment was attacking German Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibrucken.

  • Colorado A&M's Lewis "Dude" Dent, voted the best all-around athlete in the Mountain States Conference in 1943, was an Army lieutenant among forward observers giving firing coordinates on the radio when killed in action in France in August 1944.

  • Edward Drake, who played for Rutgers in 1929-30, died on December 21, 1943, in a plane crash over the Mediterranean Sea shortly after his promotion to Major.

  • Bob Duffey, a backup swingman for Georgetown's 1943 NCAA Tournament runner-up, was killed on November 13, 1944, in European theater combat. Teammate Lloyd Potolicchio, who matched DePaul legend George Mikan's 11-point output in the 1943 national semifinals when the Hoyas eliminated the Blue Demons before bowing to Wyoming in title tilt, joined the Air Force. Potolicchio was boom operator Master Sergeant when killed in a refueling mission on January 17, 1966, in a B-52 crash off the coast of southern Spain. His KC-135 tanker was completely destroyed when its fuel load ignited, resulting in the B-52G breaking apart with B28RI hydrogen weapons falling to earth and plutonium contamination occurring near the fishing village of Palomares. In March 2009, Time magazine identified the Palomares accident as one of the world's "worst nuclear disasters."

  • Texas' Pete Edmond died on October 11, 1918, charging a German machine-gun position in the battle of the Argonne Forest, one of the bloodiest campaigns in the history of American warfare.

  • Charles "Herb" Fash averaged 7.2 points per game for Saint Louis from 1933-34 through 1935-36. On January 21, 1945, the Lieutenant was one of 52 sailors killed when a torpedo bomber, returning from a South Pacific sortie, made a routine landing on the USS Hancock, taxied and disintegrated in an explosion as one of its 500-pound bombs detonated on the aircraft carrier.

  • Bob Fischer, letterman in 1941 and 1942 as a Notre Dame guard, was serving with an Army squadron on November 17, 1944, when he was killed while bailing out of his fighter plane as it went down in flames over Italy.

  • William Gamber, a hooper for Tri-State (Ind.), was a pilot who died with three aspiring Army Air Corps fliers on November 18, 1942, on a routine training mission after leaving Mather Field in Sacramento. In 1947, it was determined their plane crashed hundreds of miles off course into 13,841-foot-high Mount Darwin in Kings Canyon National Park after a hiker initially discovered some of the wreckage on a glacier. Sixty-three years later, climbers discovered his body entombed in ice.

  • Bob Gary, captain for Washington & Lee (Va.), was a navigator on a routine training flight in early February 1944 when his bomber crashed Southeast of El Paso.

  • Montana State's Cyrus Gatton, a pilot with the 11th Aero Squadron, was killed in action in Europe the first week in November 1918, a week before the Armistice was signed ending World War I.

  • James Gillespie, Georgia letterman in 1939, served in the Navy when killed in action.

  • Eddie Grant, who played basketball for Harvard at the turn of the 20th Century before becoming an infielder for 10 years in the majors, died from shelling on October 5, 1918, in the Argonne Forest, France, during WWI while in charge of his battalion after his commanding officer was killed.

  • Frank Haggerty, St. John's senior co-captain in 1939-40 who averaged 5 points per game in his three-year career under legendary coach Joe Lapchick, was a Second Lieutenant in Air Force. Haggerty was killed instantly on training mission in fall of 1942 when his plane crashed into the Catawba River in Charlotte area.

  • Ernie Holbrook was a three-year letterman as USC forward and hero of 1935 PCC playoff series against Oregon State. He died in mid-December 1944 during opening salvos of the Ardennes offensive in Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge.

  • Bob Holmes was a forward who helped guide Central Methodist (Mo.) to MCAU title in 1942-43. In the Marines invasion of Iwo Jima in mid-February 1945, he was mortally wounded while spraying the enemy with machine gun fire. Holmes subsequently was buried at sea.

  • Thomas P. Hunter, a three-year letterman who was a sophomore member of Kansas' 1940 runner-up, was killed in action against the Japanese on Guam, July 21, 1944, while fighting with the Ninth Marines as a first lieutenant. Hunter was elected posthumously as captain of the Jayhawks' 1945-46 squad that compiled a 19-2 record.

  • Nile Kinnick, Iowa's Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback-halfback in 1939, played basketball for the Hawkeyes during his sophomore year, averaging 6.1 ppg to finish as their second-leading scorer. After bypassing pro football to attend law school, he was killed in a plane crash on June 2, 1943, on a routine training flight from the aircraft carrier USS Lexington off the coast of Venezuela while serving in the Navy. Kinnick's body never was recovered after his attempt to land in the water following a serious oil leak.

  • George Lenc, a four-year letterman for Augustana (Ill.) in the late 1930s, was completing his cadet training as a bombardier and navigator in mid-November 1942 when his bomber crashed near Pasco, Wash.

  • Felix Little, a player for Catawba (N.C.) in the late 1930s, was a Navy bomber pilot among nine crew and passengers who perished when a port engine exploded and plane crashed while leaving runway.

  • James Loenshal, a Dickinson (Pa.) hooper, was co-pilot on a mission to bomb an oil refinery near Vienna when the Lieutenant in Army Air Force's aircraft disintegrated in mid-air upon receiving a direct hit from enemy anti-aircraft artillery.

  • Walter "Whitey" Loos, an EIBC honorable mention selection as a Carnegie Tech (Pa.) center, died as a navigator in a B-24 plane crash in Brazil in mid-January 1944 on the final leg of a journey to Europe.

  • Center Bill Menke, the third-leading scorer for Indiana's 1940 NCAA champion who supplied a team-high 10 points in the Hoosiers' national semifinal victory over Duquesne, later became a Navy pilot and served in World War II. In January 1945, he was declared missing in action (and presumed dead) when he didn't return from a flight in the Caribbean.

  • John Messina, a member of coach Frank Keaney's innovative fast-break system at Rhode Island State in the mid-1930s, was a paratrooper when killed on July 13, 1943, during the invasion of Sicily.

  • Joe Minsavage appeared in 12 games for Syracuse before joining the Navy. On June 19, 1943, he was on board the Henry Knox in the Indian Ocean when it was torpedoed by a Japanese ship.

  • Army Air Force Lieutenant Ralph Nutter, who played for McNeese State's first basketball team when the school was a junior college, died in a plane crash in June 1943.

  • Mortimer "Whitey" O'Connell, who played a couple of seasons for Rutgers in the early 1930s, died on March 15, 1945, in a hospital in France.

  • Kenneth Omley, who played for Rutgers in the late 1930s and early 1940s, died while in England on November 25, 1944, as a result of wounds received in a plane crash.

  • Harry "Porky" O'Neill paced Gettysburg (Pa.) to two Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championships in the late 1930s and caught one game for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1939. After surviving the worst of the horrific fighting at Iwo Jima, the Marine first lieutenant was killed instantly on March 6, 1945, by a sniper's bullet piercing his throat and severing his spinal cord as he prepared to bed down on a starlit night. Gettysburg teammate Gerst Buyer, a First Lieutenant, had died on May 25, 1944, in Italy amid heavy Armored Division tank losses.

  • Captain Scott Pace, who played for Army in 2002-03, died in Afghanistan on June 6, 2012, when the helicopter he was piloting crashed after being hit by Taliban fire.

  • Charles "Stubbie" Pearson, captain of Dartmouth's 1942 national runner-up and valedictorian of his class the same year, was killed in action on March 30, 1945, while dive-bombing a Japanese ship off the Palau Islands. Pearson, who also served as captain of the school's football squad, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

  • Four-sport letterman Tommy Peters, who averaged 17.5 ppg to lead the Southern Conference in scoring in 1942-43, died during WWII after only one season with Davidson.

  • San Diego State's Milton "Milky" Phelps, the NAIA Tournament's first bona fide standout when he sparked the Aztecs to the 1941 title after two runner-up finishes, gave his life for his country during WWII in the crash of a Navy torpedo bomber.

  • Curtis Popham, Texas' co-captain in 1943, was killed during WWII.

  • Robert Roach, a member of Omaha's squad before entering the military, was a second lieutenant in the Army Air Forces in July 1945 when he died in the crash of his plane in Arizona, where he was an instructor.

  • Jim Robertson was an All-Northwest Conference selection for Willamette (Ore.) in 1941-42. The Marine Corps airman's bomber, damaged by Japanese anti-aircraft fire in the South Pacific, overshot an island runway attempting a landing in heavy rain and crashed into a lagoon.

  • Glenn Sanford, who enrolled at Hillsdale (Mich.) in the late 1930s, was an Army Second Lieutenant stationed in Oakland area in early November 1943 when his plane spiraled into the ocean on a routine patrol along the coast.

  • Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, Syracuse's first African-American athlete in the late 1930s, became a fighter pilot in a unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen. On May 9, 1943, Sidat-Singh was on a training run over Lake Huron when he radioed his engine was on fire. He ejected from the plane but, upon striking the water, Sidat-Singh's parachute pulled him down and caused drowning.

  • Carleton (MN) forward Wayne Sparks, a "Little All-American" in 1936-37, died in a bomber crash during WWII.

  • Len Supulski, a standout end who also played basketball for Dickinson (Pa.), died in the crash of a B-17 bomber during a routine Army Air Corps training flight near Kearney, Neb., in late August 1943.

  • Charles Taggart, who played in 39 games for Syracuse in the early 1930s, was in the Navy on board the USS Frederick C. Davis on April 24, 1945, when the destroyer escort was torpedoed by a German U-boat.

  • Ed Tuttle, a forward for Lenior-Rhyne (N.C.), was an Air Cadet in the spring of 1942 when his plane collided head-on with another during training in Florida.

  • Jimmy Walker was an All-SEC Tournament selection in 1934 and 1935 as an Alabama forward. While on duty as first lieutenant with the Navy, he was seriously wounded in an accident and died in mid-December 1943 in Brazil.

  • Four-time All-MCAU forward Eugene "Peaches" Westover, class of '38 for Drury (MO), was killed December 12, 1944, at the Battle of the Bulge while private first class served in Armored Division.

  • Gene Ziesel, who also played football for Creighton, was the co-pilot on a bomber shot down by the Germans at high altitude on January 11, 1943, over Italy. Previously, he was a POW in Turkey after his plane was grounded there, but this time he did not survive.

Numerous standout players had their college playing careers sidetracked by WWII. Following is a list of All-Americans who had their college days interrupted in the mid-1940s while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces:

Air Force - Charles Black (Kansas) and Jack Parkinson (Kentucky).

Army - Don Barksdale (UCLA), Lew Beck (Oregon State), A.L. Bennett (Oklahoma A&M), Gale Bishop (Washington State), Vince Boryla (Notre Dame/Denver), Harry Boykoff (St. John's), Bob Brannum (Kentucky), Arnie Ferrin (Utah), Alex Groza (Kentucky), Ralph Hamilton (Indiana), Walt Kirk (Illinois), Allie Paine (Oklahoma), Don Rehfeldt (Wisconsin), Jack Smiley (Illinois), Odie Spears (Western Kentucky) and Gerry Tucker (Oklahoma).

Marine Corps - Aud Brindley (Dartmouth), John Hargis (Texas), Mickey Marty (Loras), Andy Phillip (Illinois), Gene Rock (southern California) and Kenny Sailors (Wyoming).

Navy - Bobby Cook (Wisconsin), Howie Dallmar (Stanford/Penn), Dick Dickey (North Carolina State), Bob Faught (Notre Dame), Harold Gensichen (Western Michigan), Wyndol Gray (Bowling Green State), Hal Haskins (Hamline), Leo Klier (Notre Dame), Dick McGuire (St. John's) and John Oldham (Western Kentucky).

In an incredible achievement, Phillip and Tucker returned to first-team All-American status in 1946-47 after missing three seasons while serving in the military. Black and Sailors also returned to All-American acclaim after missing two seasons. Meanwhile, Whitey Skoog served in the U.S. Navy before becoming a three-time All-American with Minnesota in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Gus Broberg, an aviator with the Marines after being named an NCAA consensus first-team All-American for Dartmouth in 1940 and 1941, lost his right arm in a plane crash. He went on to study law and become a respected judge in Florida. Eventual Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas Maurice Britt was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after suffering numerous wounds, including one causing his right arm to be amputated. In an intense fire fight during WWII, Britt personally killed five and wounded an unknown number of Germans, wiped out one enemy machine gun crew, fired five clips of carbine and an undetermined amount of M1 rifle ammunition plus threw 32 fragmentation grenades.

Fallen heroes also emerged post-WWII. Gene Berger, who started 43 games for Syracuse from 1939-40 through 1941-42, was 41 while serving on the USS Lexington stationed in San Diego in mid-September 1961 when his plane crashed into the ocean shortly after takeoff during maneuvers. Don Holleder, who averaged 9.3 ppg as a junior and 6.8 ppg as a senior for Army in the mid-1950s, was a major during the Vietnam War in October, 1967, when he was killed by a sniper's bullet in an ambush 40 miles from Saigon as he hurled himself into enemy fire attempting to rescue wounded comrades. Three months earlier, Don Steinbrunner, who averaged 3.9 ppg for Washington State in 1951-52 before playing with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, was an Air Force navigator shot down and killed over Vietnam.

We honor and remember after they went from the playing field to battlefield! For instance, former Dayton standout Bucky Buckhorn had older brothers killed in WWII and the Korean War. That's why right-thinking Americans are disgusted when a Democratic-controlled Senate several years ago had time for signing a letter encouraging the NFL to have the Washington Redskins change their "bigoted" nickname but wasn't "big" enough or sufficiently honorable to prevent stalling of a three-page veterans health bill. Petty politicians, transitioning from Tear Down This Wall to Tear Down This Stall, may forget their "sacred obligation" similar to previous POTUS' lame emphasis on climate change rather than military salutes at a Coast Guard ceremony. However, the remainder of us will be "Rolling Thunder" and not forget genuine heroes.

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 27 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 Santa Clara basketball guards Tim Cullen and Randy Winn each had MLB-career defining games on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 27 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 27

  • CF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati basketball letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Giants in 1930. Five years later, Allen was with the Philadelphia Phillies when he stroked four hits in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) whacked two homers against the Detroit Tigers in a 1933 game.

  • INF Pat Crawford (Davidson hoops captain in early 1920s) traded by the New York Giants to Cincinnati Reds in 1930.

  • Washington Senators 2B Tim Cullen (starting guard for Santa Clara in 1962-63 when averaging 10 ppg and 3.4 rpg) contributed four hits in an 8-1 victory against the Detroit Tigers in 1967.

  • Boston Red Sox rookie RHP Boo Ferriss (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1941) tossed his fourth shutout in first six starts in 1945.

  • Baltimore Orioles 3B Wayne Gross (led Cal Poly Pomona in assists in 1974-75) cracked a grand slam against the California Angels in a 1984 outing.

  • Cleveland Indians 1B Mike Hargrove (Northwestern Oklahoma State hoops letterman) provided at least three hits in fourth consecutive contest in 1981.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF 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) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a 1962 doubleheader.

  • RHP Andy Karl (Manhattan hoops letterman in mid-1930s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Boston Braves in 1947.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) went 3-for-3 with three stolen bases against the Oakland Athletics in a 1994 game.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Preacher Roe (Harding AR hooper in late 1930s) fired the second of back-to-back shutouts in 1949.

  • Closer Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) traded by the California Angels to the Cincinnati Reds in 1996.

  • Chicago Cubs LF Riggs Stephenson (Alabama hoops letterman in 1920) provided three straight three-hit games in 1927. Four years later in 1931, Stephenson went 4-for-4, including three extra-base hits, against the Cincinnati Reds. In a 1932 contest, he went 4-for-4 again against the Reds.

  • In 1975, Oakland Athletics RHP Jim Todd (averaged 16 ppg for Millersville PA in 1968-69) didn't allow an earned run in nine straight relief appearances in the month until doing so against the Baltimore Orioles.

  • Seattle Mariners LF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) went 5-for-5 in a 15-7 triumph against the Kansas City Royals in 2003.

Wiley is 5th Small-School Transfer This Century to Become DI League MVP

Despite what you might read elsewhere, a striking number of major-college standouts started their careers playing for a four-year small college before transferring. Of course, the most prominent player in this category is all-time great Elgin Baylor. After leaving College of Idaho, Baylor became an NCAA unanimous first-team All-American with Seattle in 1957-58. This season, Eastern Washington forward Jake Wiley (transfer from Lewis-Clark State ID) became the fifth player in the 21st Century to earn MVP honors in a DI league after transferring from a small college.

Wiley joined Alabama coach Avery Johnson on the following chronological list of 11 mid-major conference POY selections since the NCAA playoffs expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985 after previously playing for non-Division I four-year schools during their college careers:

Season League Player of Year Pos. Division I School Conference Four-Year Small College
1986-87 Bob McCann C Morehead State Ohio Valley Upsala (N.J.)
1987-88 Avery Johnson G Southern (La.) SWAC Cameron (Okla.)
1987-88 Larry Jones F Boston University ECAC North Atlantic C.W. Post (N.Y.)
1990-91 Marcus Kennedy F-C Eastern Michigan Mid-American Ferris State (Mich.)
1993-94 Tucker Neale G Colgate Patriot League Ashland (Ohio)
1996-97 Johnny Taylor F UT-Chattanooga Southern Knoxville (Tenn.)
2000-01 Demond Stewart G Niagara Metro Atlantic Mercyhurst (Pa.)
2003-04 Miah Davis G Pacific Big West Cal State Stanislaus
2004-05 Yemi Nicholson C Denver Sun Belt Fort Lewis (Colo.)
2013-14 Davion Berry G-F Weber State Big Sky Cal State Monterey Bay
2016-17 Jacob Wiley F Eastern Washington Big Sky Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 26 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.

Duke's first basketball All-American Billy Werber had big games in each baseball league on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 26 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 26

  • RHP Mike Adams (played basketball for Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1996-97) traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the New York Mets in 2006.

  • Lefthander Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates spun a perfect game for 12 innings in 1959 before Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading scorer in 1945-46) swatted a game-winning homer in the 13th (credited with double because of base-running snafu).

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Clyde Barnhart (hooper for Shippensburg PA predecessor Cumberland Valley State Normal School prior to World War I) had his 25-game hitting streak snapped by the Chicago Cubs in 1925.

  • St. Louis Browns RF Beau Bell (two-year hoops letterman for Texas A&M in early 1930s) collected two homers and five RBI against the Boston Red Sox in a 1937 game.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Carson "Skeeter" Bigbee (Oregon hoops letterman in 1915) went 4-for-4 including three doubles against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1923 contest.

  • Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) contributed five hits in a 16-inning marathon against the Detroit Tigers in 1979.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) went 5-for-5 against the Washington Senators in a 1929 outing.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman hoops team) tossed a three-hit shutout against the New York Giants in 1956.

  • Second MLB hit for INF Pat Crawford (Davidson hoops captain in early 1920s) was a pinch grand slam for the New York Giants in a 1929 game against the Boston Braves.

  • St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California hoops letterman from 1922 through 1924) went 7-for-10 in a 1929 twinbill against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • In the midst of a career-high 14-game hitting streak, Los Angeles Dodgers C Joe Ferguson (hooper in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) furnished four hits against the San Francisco Giants in a 1974 contest.

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Boo Ferriss (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1941) hurled a one-hitter against the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a 1946 doubleheader.

  • In a 1970 outing, Los Angeles Dodgers C Tom Haller (backup forward for Illinois in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Harry Combes) banged out four hits against his original team (San Francisco Giants).

  • Boston Braves 1B Buddy Hassett (hooper for Manhattan teams winning school-record 17 consecutive games in 1930 and 1931) banged out four hits in a 10-8 loss against the New York Giants in 1940.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman hoops squad in 1953-54) fanned 16 Philadelphia Phillies batters in a 1962 game.

  • Detroit Tigers SS Harvey Kuenn (played hoops briefly for Wisconsin in 1951-52 after competing on JV squad previous season) collected four hits against the Kansas City Athletics in a 1956 contest.

  • Texas Rangers DH Rick Leach (averaged 15.5 ppg for Michigan's JV squad in 1975-76) went 3-for-3 in a 5-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins in 1989.

  • INF Jerry Lumpe (member of Southwest Missouri State's 1952 NAIA Tournament championship hoops team) traded by the New York Yankees to the Kansas City Athletics in 1959 in a swap involving Ralph Terry, who pitched in five straight World Series for the Yanks.

  • San Diego Padres 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) homered in his fourth consecutive contest in 1986.

  • Starting LHP Gary Peters (Grove City PA hooper in mid-1950s) batted sixth in the starting lineup for the Chicago White Sox in a 5-1 loss against the New York Yankees in the opener of a 1968 doubleheader.

  • St. Louis Browns RHP Nels Potter (leading scorer during two years attending Mount Morris IL in early 1930s) retired the first 23 Boston Red Sox batters he faced in 1944 game.

  • Boston Red Sox C Birdie Tebbetts (Providence hooper in 1932) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Browns in a 1949 outing.

  • Boston Red Sox 3B Billy Werber (first Duke hoops All-American in 1929-30) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Browns in a 1935 game. Four years later with the Cincinnati Reds, Werber scored four of his N.L.-leading 115 runs in a 7-5 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 1B Bill White (two-year hooper for Hiram OH in early 1950s) went 4-for-4 against the New York Mets in the opener of a 1963 twinbill.

From Penthouse to Outhouse: No Guaranteed Success For Defending Titlist

There is virtually no chance for North Carolina running the risk of joining Stanford '42 and Michigan State '79 as the only defending NCAA champions compiling a losing record the next season. But the Tar Heels could be a candidate for reaching double digits in defeats similar to what occurred to them in 2009-10 as defending titlist.

Following is a chronological list of reigning titlists suffering more than a dozen setbacks or posting a losing mark overall coming off a national crown:

NCAA Champion Coach Record Next Season as Reigning Titlist Conference Finish
Stanford '42 Everett Dean 10-11 in 1942-43 T2nd in PCC South
Indiana '76 Bob Knight 14-13 in 1976-77 5th in Big Ten
Michigan State '79 Jud Heathcote 12-15 in 1979-80 9th in Big Ten
North Carolina State '83 Jim Valvano 19-14 in 1983-84 7th in ACC
Louisville '86 Denny Crum 18-14 in 1986-87 1st in Metro
North Carolina '09 Roy Williams 20-17 in 2009-10 T9th in ACC
Connecticut '14 Kevin Ollie 20-15 in 2014-15 T5th in American Athletic

NOTE: Everett Shelton-coached Wyoming '43 went 10-18 in 1944-45 after failing to field a team in 1943-44 during World War II.

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 25 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 25 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 25

  • RHP Jim Bibby (Fayetteville State NC backup basketball player and brother of UCLA All-American Henry Bibby) and Pittsburgh Pirates teammate Jim Winn tied a MLB record by combining to walk seven consecutive batters in the third inning of a 1983 game against the Atlanta Braves.

  • New York Yankees LF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's career scoring list in 1949-50 when finishing career) cracked a grand slam against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1956 game.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates 1B Donn Clendenon (four-sport letterman with Morehouse GA) capped a streak of five multiple-hit games in succession with four safeties against the Chicago Cubs in a 1965 contest.

  • Hall of Fame C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s), after socking a third-inning homer for the Detroit Tigers against the New York Yankees in his final official at-bat, incurred a skull fracture in three places when beaned by a 3-1 pitch in the fifth in 1937. The player-manager never returned to active duty as a player. In 1950, Cochrane was named general manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.

  • In 1960, St. Louis Cardinals 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming the first high school player named the state's "Mr. Basketball") clobbered a MLB career-record 11th pinch-hit homer.

  • In 1928, St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California hoops letterman from 1922 through 1924) endured his only hitless contest in a 28-game span to early June.

  • California Angels 2B Denny Doyle (averaged 2.7 ppg for Morehead State in 1962-63) delivered his fifth three-hit performance of the month in 1974.

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Walt Dropo (Connecticut's first player ever to average 20 points for a season with 21.7 in 1942-43), en route to becoming 1950 A.L. Rookie of the Year, drove in six runs (four with grand slam) in a 15-12 verdict over the St. Louis Browns.

  • Washington Senators C Rick Ferrell (forward for Guilford NC before graduating in 1928) stroked three doubles against the St. Louis Browns in a 1938 outing.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1955-56 and 1956-57) hurled his third shutout of the month in 1969.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoops scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) went 4-for-4, including two homers, against the New York Yankees in a 1938 game.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) homered twice off the San Francisco Giants' Mike McCormick in a 1959 contest.

  • Washington Senators RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year hoops letterman graduated from Hampden-Sydney VA in 1958) had his streak of eight straight scoreless relief appearances come to an end in 1969.

  • 2B Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg as freshman in 1964-65 and 12.1 ppg as sophomore in 1965-66 before transferring with his coach to Washburn KS) lashed the last of seven homers for the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 3-0 delivery in a 17-6 whipping of the Cincinnati Reds in 1979. In Lopes' next at-bat, he was decked on four straight pitches, precipitating a brawl. Six years earlier as a rookie, Lopes notched his eighth multiple-hit contest in a 10-game span in 1973.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) notched his sixth consecutive complete-game victory during the month in 1930.

  • St. Louis Cardinals rookie CF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) swiped four bases in a 9-4 decision over the Chicago Cubs in 1954.

  • Detroit Tigers OF Jim Northrup (second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for Alma MI in 1958-59) contributed five RBI against the Boston Red Sox in a 1967 outing.

  • New York Yankees 3B Red Rolfe (played hoops briefly with Dartmouth in 1927-28 and 1929-30) went 5-for-5 against the Detroit Tigers in a 1938 game.

  • In 1971, California Angels C John Stephenson (scored 1,361 points for William Carey MS in early 1960s) hit safely in his first 15 games of the month until he was held hitless by the Oakland Athletics.

  • OF Champ Summers (team-high scoring averages of 15.7 ppg for Nicholls State in 1964-65 and 22.5 ppg for SIUE in 1969-70) traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Detroit Tigers in 1979.

Tourney Tumult: Winless in NCAA Playoffs Despite Coaching Four DI Schools

Ritchie McKay had the freedom to return to the school (Liberty) where he joined a dubious list of coaches winless in the NCAA Division I Tournament despite directing at least four different major universities.

A question surfaced several years ago regarding whether Tulsa struck gold or buried the golden egg when the Golden Hurricane lured coach Frank Haith away from Missouri. After all, Haith posted only one NCAA Tournament victory - with Miami (Fla.) in 2008 - in his first 10 years as a head coach. But if things don't work out as planned with Tulsa, at least he has enough credentials to join ESPN as an expert insofar as Fran Fraschilla, Dino Gaudio, Seth Greenberg and Dick Vitale each have a lone NCAA playoff triumph in a collective 45 years of DI head coaching.

ESPN analysts Dan Dakich and Tim Welsh never posted an NCAA Tournament win but they're nowhere close to being 0-6 like Oliver Purnell. If Haith fails with the Golden Hurricane before abandoning ship again for another school, he can rest easy he'll never be on the following list of coaches such as McKay, East Carolina's Jeff Lebo and Lamar's Tic Price who are winless in NCAA tourney competition despite being bench boss of at least four major colleges:

Winless Coach DI Years Four or Five Division I Schools NCAA Record
Frankie Allen 24 Virginia Tech, Tennessee State, Howard, Maryland-Eastern Shore 0-2
Jim Baron 28 Saint Francis (Pa.), St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, Canisius 0-2
Jeff Bzdelik 11 Maryland-Baltimore County, Air Force, Colorado, Wake Forest 0-1
Ron Greene 22 Loyola LA, New Orleans, Mississippi State, Murray State, Indiana State DNP
Joe Harrington 17 Hofstra, George Mason, Long Beach State, Colorado DNP
Jeff Lebo 19 Tennessee Tech, Chattanooga, Auburn, East Carolina DNP
Ritchie McKay 15 Portland State, Colorado State, Oregon State, New Mexico, Liberty 0-1
Chuck Noe 15 Virginia Military, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth DNP
Buzz Peterson 16 Appalachian State, Tulsa, Tennessee, Coastal Carolina, UNC Wilmington 0-1
Tic Price 13 New Orleans, Memphis, McNeese State, Lamar 0-2
Oliver Purnell 27 Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton, Clemson, DePaul 0-6
Bob Weltlich 22 Mississippi, Texas, Florida International, South Alabama 0-3
Jim Wooldridge 20 Southwest Texas State, Louisiana Tech, Kansas State, UC Riverside 0-1

Bottom of the Barrel: Texas Southern Remains Winless in NCAA Tournament

"No, you never get any fun out of the things you haven't done." - Ogden Nash

Nobody said it was going to be easy. The preceding quote definitely rings true for quality mid-major schools such as Texas Southern because it still hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game after dropping an opening-round contest this year. TSU is among the following seven universities competing in the NCAA playoffs the most but still possessing a defect because they are winless:

0-8 - Eastern Kentucky
0-7 - Belmont, Boise State, Louisiana-Monroe, Nebraska and Texas Southern
0-6 - Long Island

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 24 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 24 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 24

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Dale Alexander (starting basketball center for Milligan TN in mid-1920s) whacked two homers in an 8-7 defeat against the Chicago White Sox in 1930.

  • RHP Elden Auker (All-Big Six Conference first five hoops selection with Kansas State in 1931-32) pitched the first night game in St. Louis in 1940 when Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame P Bob Feller defeated the Browns, 3-2.

  • Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year hoops letterman for Allegheny PA) went 4-for-4 in a 4-3 win against the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a 1967 twinbill.

  • Subbing for Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame 1B Ernie Banks, Leo Burke (averaged 9.2 ppg for Virginia Tech in 1952-53 and 1953-54) went 3-for-3 with two extra-base hits against the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a 1964 doubleheader.

  • Philadelphia Athletics C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) went 4-for-4 against the Washington Senators in a 1929 game. Eight years later with the Detroit Tigers, Cochrane collected four hits against the Senators in a 1937 contest.

  • St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California hoops letterman from 1922 through 1924) went 4-for-4 against the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a 1931 twinbill.

  • Philadelphia Phillies rookie 2B Denny Doyle (averaged 2.7 ppg for Morehead State in 1962-63) banged out four hits against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1970 outing. The next year, Doyle's two-run homer gave Philly a 2-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds in 1971.

  • Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg with Texas A&M in 1961-62) replaced Tony Perez as manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1993.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team hoops selection for Baylor in early 1920s) surrendered 24 hits in going the distance in a 21-inning, 6-5 defeat against the Detroit Tigers in 1929. In 1946, 45-year-old Lyons relinquished the mound to become manager of the White Sox. In his last 28 appearances, he hurled complete games.

  • St. Louis Browns rookie RHP Dave Madison (LSU hoops letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43) didn't yield a run in his first eight relief appearances in 1952.

  • New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 24 consecutive times until losing to the Cards, 3-1, in 1909.

  • Atlanta Braves rookie RHP Ron Reed (Notre Dame's leading rebounder in 1963-64 and 1964-65) won his sixth straight start in 1968.

  • 1B Howie Schultz (Hamline MN product played and coached professional basketball) awarded on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Cincinnati Reds in 1948.

  • In the midst of five straight starts yielding fewer than three earned runs, Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points from 1955-56 through 1957-58) tossed a three-hit shutout against the Montreal Expos in 1970.

  • San Diego Padres OF Will Venable (All-Ivy League first-team selection as junior and second-team choice as senior averaged 9.3 ppg under Princeton coach John Thompson III from 2001-02 through 2004-05) supplied four hits and scored three runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2015 contest.

  • 1B-OF Preston Ward (second-leading scorer for Southwest Missouri State in 1946-47 and 1948-49) contributed a triple and homer in helping the Pittsburgh Pirates snap an 11-game losing streak with a 15-1 romp over the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 23 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 Allegheny PA hoopers Glenn Beckert and Bob Garbark had four hits as MLB players on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 23 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 23

  • RHP Mike Barlow (Syracuse basketball substitute from 1967-68 through 1969-70) shipped by the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975 to complete an earlier trade.

  • Chicago Cubs RF Frankie Baumholtz (MVP in 1941 NIT and first player in Ohio University history to score 1,000 career points) contributed four hits against the Milwaukee Braves in a 1953 contest.

  • Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year hoops letterman for Allegheny PA) collected four hits for the second time in a four-game span in 1971.

  • Philadelphia Athletics 3B Buddy Blair (LSU hoops letterman from 1932-33 through 1934-35) banged a career-high four hits in a 4-3 win against the Boston Red Sox in 1942.

  • RHP Ray Burris (hooper for Southwestern Oklahoma State) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees for P Dick Tidrow in 1979.

  • 3B Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL in mid-1940s) went 3-for-3 against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1958 en route to hitting safely in his first 11 games with the Chicago Cubs.

  • Baltimore Orioles LHP Mike Flanagan (averaged 13.9 ppg for UMass' freshman hoops squad in 1971-72) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers in 1978.

  • INF Howard Freigau (Ohio Wesleyan hooper) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1925.

  • Boston Red Sox C Bob Garbark (four-year hoops letterman graduated from Allegheny PA in 1932) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Browns in a 1945 outing.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1955-56 and 1956-57) fanned 16 Philadelphia Phillies batters in a 3-1 victory in 1970.

  • In the midst of hitting safely in 33 of his first 37 MLB games in 1936, Brooklyn Dodgers rookie 1B Buddy Hassett (hooper for Manhattan teams winning school-record 17 consecutive contests in 1930 and 1931) smacked his initial homer.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (three-year hoops letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) cracked three extra-base hits against the Boston Red Sox in a 1941 game.

  • In 1911, New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (Bucknell hooper at turn of 20th Century) defeated the Cincinnati Reds for the 18th consecutive time.

  • INF Dan Monzon (Buena Vista IA hooper in mid-1960s) traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Montreal Expos in 1974.

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) drilled two homers against the Texas Rangers in a 1975 contest.

  • RHP Curly Ogden (competed as hoops center for Swarthmore PA in 1919, 1920 and 1922) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1924.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Elmer Ponder (Oklahoma hoops letterman in 1913-14 and 1915-16) tossed a five-hit shutout against the Brooklyn Robins in 1920.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Paul Popovich (hoops teammate of Jerry West for West Virginia's 1960 NCAA playoff team) went 3-for-3 and knocked in the decisive run with a double off Tug McGraw in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory against the New York Mets in 1972.

  • New York Yankees rookie LHP Dennis Rasmussen (sixth-man for Creighton averaged 5.1 ppg from 1977-78 through 1979-80) secured his first MLB victory, yielding only two hits and fanning 10 Seattle Mariners batters over eight innings in 1984.

  • Baltimore Orioles RHP Robin Roberts (Michigan State's runner-up in scoring in 1945-46 and 1946-47) fired a two-hitter (both by light-hitting SS Eddie Brinkman/.224 career batting average) in a 6-0 victory over the Washington Senators in 1963.

  • LHP Paul Splittorff (runner-up in scoring and rebounding for Morningside IA in 1967-68) toiled 11 shutout innings for the Kansas City Royals before they edged the Minnesota Twins, 1-0, in 15 frames in 1981.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 1B Bill White (two-year hooper for Hiram OH in early 1950s) collected four hits and five RBI against the San Francisco Giants in a 1961 game. The next year, White went 4-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1962 contest.

  • Bobby Winkles (Illinois Wesleyan scoring leader in 1950-51) stepped down as manager of the Oakland A's in 1978 although they were leading the A.L. Western Division.

Control Freaks: Puppeteer Coaches Previously Puppets as Transfer Players

Hardheaded and/or heartless Division I coaches and athletic directors still don't seem to comprehend the national outrage at their toying with transfer players like master puppeteers. The administrators apparently want the NCAA to mandate that any player seeking a transfer must sit out a season; even if he wants to be closer to home because of an extremely ill relative or has graduated and wants a waiver to promptly play for an institution boasting a graduate program unavailable at his present college.

There is no reciprocal discussion about coaches and ADs being forced to sit out a year if they choose to switch universities. For instance, a total of more than 175 mentors - including every year since 1968 - had a change of heart since then and accepted a similar job from a "poach-a-coach" major college immediately after directing a team to the NCAA playoffs. After former Southern Illinois/Butler player Thad Matta departed as Ohio State mentor, CollegeHoopedia.com wonders how much the following active coaches were consulted on transfer issue insofar as they have firsthand experience playing for multiple four-year colleges:

Head Coach Current School Original DI School Alma Mater
Bacari Alexander Detroit Robert Morris Detroit '99
John Brannen Northern Kentucky Morehead State Marshall '97
Mike Brey Notre Dame Northwestern State George Washington '82
John Calipari Kentucky UNC Wilmington Clarion State (Pa.) '82
Jim Christian Boston College Boston University Rhode Island '88
Tim Cluess Iona St. John's Hofstra '83
Travis DeCuire Montana Chaminade (Hawaii) Montana '94
Tracy Dildy Chicago State San Diego State Illinois-Chicago '90
Matthew Driscoll North Florida Greensboro (N.C.) Slippery Rock (Pa.) '92
Tim Duryea Utah State Pan American North Texas State '88
Brian Fish Montana State Western Kentucky Marshall '89
Tim Floyd Texas-El Paso Southern Mississippi Louisiana Tech '77
Travis Ford Oklahoma State Missouri Kentucky '94
Brian Gregory South Florida Navy Oakland (Mich.) '90
Jerod Haase Stanford California Kansas '97
Ray Harper Jacksonville State Texas Kentucky Wesleyan '85
Donte Jackson Grambling Wisconsin-Milwaukee Central State (Ohio) '03
Tim Jankovich Southern Methodist Washington State Kansas State '82
Avery Johnson Alabama Cameron (Okla.) Southern (La.) '88
Maurice Joseph George Washington Michigan Vermont '10
Danny Kaspar Texas State Texas A&I North Texas State '78
Pat Kelsey Winthrop Wyoming Xavier '98
Andy Kennedy Mississippi North Carolina State UAB '91
Brian Kennedy NJIT Princeton Monmouth '90
Eric Konkol Louisiana Tech Wisconsin-Platteville Wisconsin-Eau Claire '00
Jim Les UC Davis Cleveland State Bradley '86
Jeff Linder Northern Colorado Mesa State (Colo.) Western State (Colo.) '00
Paul Lusk Jr. Missouri State Iowa Southern Illinois '95
Chris Mack Xavier Evansville Xavier '92
Fran McCaffery Iowa Wake Forest Pennsylvania '82
Wes Miller UNC Greensboro James Madison North Carolina '07
Jack Owens Miami of Ohio Murray State Eastern Illinois '99
Russ Pennell Central Arkansas Arkansas Central Arkansas '84
Mark Pope Utah Valley Washington Kentucky '96
George "Tic" Price Lamar Virginia Commonwealth Virginia Tech '79
Kareem Richardson UMKC East Carolina Evansville '97
Ryan Ridder Bethune-Cookman College of Wooster (Ohio) Embry-Riddle (Fla.) '08
Louis Rowe James Madison Florida James Madison '95
Steve Shields UALR Oklahoma City Baylor '88
Marty Simmons Evansville Indiana Evansville '88
Byron Smith Prairie View A&M Northwestern State Houston '91
Dedrique Taylor Cal State Fullerton Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) UC Davis '97
Andy Toole Robert Morris Elon Penn '03
Kevin Willard Seton Hall Western Kentucky Pittsburgh '96

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 22 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 22 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 22

  • Chicago Cubs 1B George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Basketball Tournament with Tennessee State) swatted two homers in a 4-3 win against the Atlanta Braves in the nightcap of a 1966 doubleheader.

  • Seattle Mariners 1B Bruce Bochte (starting forward for Santa Clara's NCAA playoff team in 1969-70) went 4-for-4 and chipped in with six RBI in a 12-11 win against the Kansas City Royals in 1979.

  • 1B Bill Davis (averaged 12.5 ppg in 1963-64 for a Minnesota team including eventual NBA standouts Archie Clark and Lou Hudson) traded by the San Diego Padres to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969.

  • 1B-LF Dick Gernert (Temple hoops letterman in 1948-49) was one of four Boston Red Sox players to wallop a homer in the sixth inning of an 11-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians in 1957.

  • Baltimore Orioles RHP Dick Hall (averaged 13.5 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 with Swarthmore PA Southern Division champions in Middle Atlantic States Conference) notched his fourth relief win of the month in 1964.

  • San Francisco Giants C Tom Haller (backup forward for Illinois in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Harry Combes) banged out four hits against the Houston Astros in the opener of a 1965 doubleheader.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Lee Handley (Bradley hoops letterman from 1932-33 through 1934-35) went 4-for-4 against the New York Giants in a 1939 game.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (hooper for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) collected two homers and six RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1951 contest. Twelve years later, Hodges became manager of the Washington Senators in 1963 after his acquisition from the New York Mets for OF Jimmy Piersall.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers rookie RF 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) contributed four hits against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1960 contest.

  • 3B Jerry Lumpe (hooper for Southwest Missouri State's 1952 NAIA Tournament championship team) notched the New York Yankees only hit (a single) in a 5-0 setback against knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm of the Baltimore Orioles in 1959. The next year as a Kansas City Athletics 2B in a 1960 outing, Lumpe launched two homers against his original team (Yankees).

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection with Baylor in the early 1920s) beat the Washington Senators, 9-2, in 1938 for his 200th career victory.

  • In 1965, Detroit Tigers rookie RF Jim Northrup (second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for Alma MI in 1958-59) jacked his first MLB homer (off Hall of Famer Robin Roberts of Baltimore Orioles).

  • Montreal Expos LF Curtis Pride (led William & Mary in steals three times and assists twice while averaging 5.6 ppg and 3.1 apg from 1986-87 through 1989-90) went 3-for-3 against the New York Mets in a 2001 contest.

  • Baltimore Orioles RF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman hoops squad in mid-1960s) smacked a game-ending grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers in 1976.

  • Utilityman Jimmy Stewart (All-Volunteer State Athletic Conference hoops selection for Austin Peay State in 1959-60 and 1960-61) purchased from the Chicago Cubs by the Chicago White Sox in 1967.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points from 1955-56 through 1957-58 with Benedictine KS) tossed his second shutout of the month in 1966.

  • Kansas City Royals RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) won first four decisions and compiled 0.78 ERA through his first 10 outings of 2015 campaign.

The Classics: DePaul/Illinois Rivalry Should Automatically Be Extended

"Holy shadows of the dead, I am not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions." - Alexander the Great

The best back-to-back non-conference games the past two seasons probably involved Maryland coming from behind to upend Georgetown both times. Where has this rivalry been for more than three decades? Hoop loyalists missed out on Patrick Ewing and David Wingate vs. Adrian Branch in the early 1980s, Reggie Williams vs. Len Bias in mid-1980s, Alonzo Mourning vs. Tony Massenburg and Walt Williams in late 1980s and early 1990s, Allen Iverson vs. Joe Smith in mid-1990s and Mike Sweetney vs. Juan Dixon at the turn of 21st Century. Instead of grand games giving us a shot of adrenalin, we got to overdose on cupcakes with the Hoyas and Terrapins combining to win all 66 of their mismatches against in-state weaklings UMBC, UMES, Morgan State and Towson from the early 1980s through 2003-04. It is long past time for these schools to commit to opposing each other like they did from 1946-47 to 1979-80. If so, the "Duel in D.C." immediately becomes annual must-see TV in pre-conference competition comparable to Kentucky/Louisville, Illinois/Missouri and Cincinnati/Xavier. Another possible addition to this list bubbled up as DePaul is slated to meet Illinois next season for the first time in 60 years.

Elsewhere, after 105 years steeped in history amid off-the-chart contempt, the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri expired for the foreseeable future when Mizzou departed the Big 12 Conference for the SEC. KU has a commanding edge in nearly every category (winning percentage, victories away from home and close games decided by single digits), but the Tigers have been enough of a tormentor to make the series as energetic and entertaining as you can find anywhere. Their border war stacked right up there with the more nationally-acclaimed "Clash of the Titans" between Duke and North Carolina.

Making about as much sense as lunatic leftists being more concerned about #TheDonald's two scoops of ice cream rather than DNC staffer Seth Rice's murder, it was shortsighted of KU and Mizzou to let their rivalry end. They simply join top six conference members Pittsburgh/West Virginia, Cincinnati/Ohio State and Texas/Texas A&M as potentially great natural non-league match-ups their fans can't enjoy.

Do we require self-absorbed Secretary of State John Kerry to bring James Taylor for a "You've Got a Friend" sing-along to ease the stress after Utah cancelled its game at BYU? If bruised egos heal in the near future, perhaps sounder minds will prevail with Mizzou annually opposing KU in Kansas City much like it does in St. Louis against Illinois. But Mizzou, revitalized by a regal recruiting class, can't complain if the Jayhawks continue to act like a jilted lover because the self-centered Tigers fail to oppose competent in-state foes such as Missouri State and Saint Louis.

By almost any measure including Alexander the Great's perspective, KU has a superior program to Mizzou, which was at its lowest ebb in more than 50 years after mess-maker Frank Haith left the Tigers' program in tatters. But Jayhawks coach Bill Self should rein in his rhetoric as the divorce dialogue intensified or at least take a crash course in college basketball history. When comparing the significance of the Kentucky/Louisville rivalry to the termination of KU's home-and-home conference conflicts with the Tigers, Self said: "Well, they've always played every year (out of league). That's all they know."

Well, Self needs to "always know" that UK and Louisville went 61 years from 1923 through 1983 without a regular-season matchup before they came to their senses and saw the light. Speaking of light, KU and Mizzou simply have to shed one lightweight apiece to keep a good thing going for the sport in general and for their fans specifically like the entertaining Philly Big 5. KU, foisting an anemic non-league slate on hoopdom in 2017-18, shouldn't also deny hoop fans a Top 20 matchup with Wichita State.

By toning down picking on patsies, there is plenty of room on their respective non-league schedules to keep playing each other. Ditto for Indiana and Kentucky plus Memphis and Tennessee resuming their rivalries, which would definitely be among the top 10 such confrontations in the country. If the century-old KU/Mizzou spectacle returns, it could immediately surpass Kentucky/Louisville and go atop the following list of the nation's top 25 non-conference rivalries if only because of longevity:

  1. Kentucky/Louisville
  2. Illinois/Missouri
  3. Cincinnati/Xavier
  4. Iowa/Iowa State
  5. Indiana/Notre Dame
  6. Brigham Young/Utah
  7. St. Joseph's/Villanova
  8. Georgia/Georgia Tech
  9. Florida/Florida State
  10. Marquette/Wisconsin
  11. Clemson/South Carolina
  12. New Mexico/New Mexico State
  13. Marshall/West Virginia
  14. Utah/Utah State
  15. Temple/Villanova
  16. La Salle/Villanova
  17. Florida/Miami (FL)
  18. Iowa/Northern Iowa
  19. Colorado/Colorado State
  20. Drake/Iowa
  21. Penn/Villanova
  22. Providence/Rhode Island
  23. Creighton/Nebraska
  24. La Salle/Temple
  25. Idaho/Idaho State

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 21 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 hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games, transactions and dates in MLB history.

Former Duke basketball All-Americans Dick Groat and Billy Werber provided significant MLB performances on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 21 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 21

  • Toronto Blue Jays 2B Danny Ainge (three-time Brigham Young All-American and national basketball player of year as senior in 1980-81) stroked three hits and scored three runs against the Cleveland Indians in his MLB debut in 1979.

  • LF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati hoops letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs in 1936.

  • Seattle Mariners RHP Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) notched his third victory in 11 days in 1980.

  • Hall of Fame C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University hooper in early 1920s) clobbered three homers as a Philadelphia Athletics rookie in a 20-4 rout of the St. Louis Browns in 1925. Six years later, Cochrane collected five hits and four RBI against the Detroit Tigers in a 1931 contest.

  • New York Giants 2B Pat Crawford (Davidson hoops captain in early 1920s) contributed two extra-base hits and four RBI for the second time in a 10-game span in 1930.

  • Atlanta Braves 3B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered twice in a 1975 outing against the Montreal Expos.

  • In 1962, 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) went 4-for-4 against the Chicago Cubs in the midst of a career-high 15-game hitting streak.

  • 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 en route to a N.L.-high 211 hits in 1986.

  • New York Yankees LHP Steve Hamilton (Morehead State's leading scorer and rebounder in 1956-57 and 1957-58) registered a save by getting the last two outs to preserve a 2-0 shutout against the Washington Senators in 1970 after starter Mel Stottlemyre issued 11 walks.

  • Cleveland Indians RHP Wynn Hawkins (Little All-American was all-time leading hoops scorer for Baldwin-Wallace OH upon graduation in 1957) hurled his lone MLB shutout (9-0 against Minnesota Twins in opener of 1961 twinbill).

  • INF-OF Rick Herrscher (led SMU with 17.5 ppg in 1957-58 when he was an All-SWC first-team selection) shipped by the Milwaukee Braves to the New York Mets in 1962 to complete an earlier deal.

  • Boston Red Sox C Duane Josephson (Northern Iowa's scoring leader in 1962-63 and 1963-64 under coach Norm Stewart) jacked two homers in an 8-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles in 1971.

  • Cincinnati Reds RF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV hoops squad with Bloomsburg PA in mid-1930s) smacked a pinch three-run homer to break a 6-6 deadlock against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.

  • CF Don Lock (led Wichita State in field-goal percentage in 1956-57 and 1957-58) ended an 18-inning marathon in 1967 when his two-out single gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 2-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

  • San Francisco Giants LF Terrell Lowery (two-time All-WCC first-team selection and league-leading scorer for Loyola Marymount in 1990-91 and 1991-92) banged out five hits, including three doubles, in a 16-10 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in 2000.

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Ed Morgan (Tulane hoops letterman from 1923-24 through 1925-26) had five hits against the Chicago White Sox in a 1934 outing.

  • Hall of Fame RHP Robin Roberts (Michigan State's second-leading scorer in 1945-46 and 1946-47) signed by Baltimore Orioles in 1962 after he was released by the New York Yankees.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers INF Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) supplied six RBI in a 15-6 romp over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1949.

  • Boston Red Sox 3B Billy Werber (first Duke hoops All-American in 1929-30) collected three stolen bases and scored four runs against the Chicago White Sox in a 1934 game.

  • RHP Jim Wilson (hoops letterman for San Diego State's 1942 NAIA Tournament participant) traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Chicago White Sox in 1956.

How Will Amir Garrett Be Graded as MLB Pitcher After College Hoops Career?

Boom or bust? How will history determine the early impact of lefthander Amir Garrett on the Cincinnati Reds? The former St. John's hooper excelled in his first three starts before stumbling twice in next four starts, leaving him with an ERA in excess of five runs per game just before Memorial Day.

Sandy Koufax, perhaps the finest lefty in MLB history, was a freshman basketball player with the University of Cincinnati in 1953-54 prior to walking 12 opponents in first four relief appearances covering 9 2/3 innings for Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955. The greatest beginning of a MLB pitching career by an ex-college hooper was assembled by Mississippi State's David "Boo" Ferriss, who hurled 22 scoreless innings and won his his first eight starts with the Boston Red Sox in 1945.

Following is a comprehensive summary of early rookie performances by other MLB pitchers who played varsity basketball for a school presently or formerly at the NCAA Division I level:

College Hooper Current/Former DI School Summary of Early MLB Pitching Career
Mark Acre New Mexico State held foes scoreless in first five games as Athletics reliever in 1994 and yielded only one ER in first 10 appearances (0.82 ERA)
Elden Auker Kansas State 8.07 ERA through first 10 games (including four starts) with Tigers in 1933
Curt Barclay Oregon 5.01 ERA in first three starts with New York Giants in 1957
Mike Barlow Syracuse allowed four earned runs covering three innings in his first two relief appearances with St. Louis Cardinals in 1975
Stan Baumgartner University of Chicago 4.82 ERA in first nine games with Philadelphia Phillies in 1914
Jim Beattie Dartmouth 4.70 ERA in first five starts with New York Yankees in 1978
Carl Bouldin Cincinnati 15.43 ERA in first six games with Washington Senators in 1961 and 1962
Ralph Branca NYU 8.41 ERA in first nine games with Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944
Ownie Carroll Holy Cross 0-2 mark in first three starts with Tigers in 1925, allowing 19 runs in 17 innings
Marty Clary Northwestern 6.14 ERA in seven games after September call-up by Atlanta Braves in 1987
Vince Colbert East Carolina 10.02 ERA in first 16 relief appearances with Cleveland Indians in 1970
Gene Conley Washington State lost first two starts with Boston Braves, surrendering 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in 1952
Danny Coombs Seton Hall 8.74 ERA in first six games with Houston Colt .45's in 1963 and 1964
Bill Crouch Eastern Michigan won all four verdicts in September and compiled 2.58 ERA in six games with Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939
Dave "Boo" Ferriss Mississippi State won first eight decisions, including four shutouts, while manufacturing microscopic 0.74 ERA with Boston Red Sox in 1945
Dave Frost Stanford 2.68 ERA in 15 games with Chicago White Sox and California Angels in 1977 and 1978
Rich Gale New Hampshire won 13 of first 16 decisions while compiling 2.59 ERA in first 21 starts with Kansas City Royals in 1978
Johnny Gee Michigan lost four of five decisions while posting 4.67 ERA in first six outings with Pittsburgh Pirates in 1939 and 1941
Joe Gibbon Mississippi won first two relief appearances with Pirates covering five innings in 1960
Bob Gibson Creighton yielded HR to first batter he faced in 1959 en route to allowing five hits and three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in first two relief appearances with St. Louis Cardinals
Dave Giusti Syracuse lost first three starts and compiled 7.49 ERA in first eight games with Houston Colt .45's in 1962
Dallas Green Delaware 5.45 ERA in first five starts with Phillies, allowing 35 hits and 18 walks in 34 2/3 innings
Paul Gregory Mississippi State unscored upon in first four relief appearances covering 6 1/3 innings with Chicago White Sox in 1932
Ed Halicki Monmouth (N.J.) lost eight of nine decisions as San Francisco Giants rookie in 1974
Steve Hamilton Morehead State 2.94 ERA in first 15 games covering 33 2/3 innings with Cleveland Indians and Washington Senators in 1961 and 1962
Atlee Hammaker East Tennessee State 5.68 ERA in first nine games with Kansas City Royals in 1981
Jim Hearn Georgia Tech lowered ERA to 2.44 after hurling first MLB shutout in 16th appearance with St. Louis Cardinals in 1947
Mark Hendrickson Washington State 5.91 ERA in 12 relief appearances with Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 before lowering mark to 2.45 at season's end by winning three of four September starts
Oral Hildebrand Butler 8.38 ERA covering 9 2/3 innings in first three relief appearances with Cleveland Indians in September 1931
Jay Hook Northwestern 6.23 ERA covering 13 innings with Cincinnati Reds in 1957 and 1958
Walt Huntzinger Penn 5.13 ERA covering 40 1/3 innings with New York Giants in 1923 and 1924
Andy Karl Manhattan 1.37 ERA in first eight relief appearances with Boston Red Sox in 1943
Bob Keegan Bucknell 6.59 ERA in first seven games with Chicago White Sox in 1953
Jim Konstanty Syracuse 2.17 ERA in first 10 games, including seven starts, with Cincinnati Reds in 1944
Bill Krueger Portland 2.54 ERA in first seven starts with Oakland Athletics in 1983
Ted Lyons Baylor eventual Hall of Famer posted 10.12 ERA in first five games as Chicago White Sox reliever in 1923
Dave Madison LSU yielded two earned runs in three innings in debut with New York Yankees in 1950 before going scoreless in first eight relief appearances covering 14 innings with St. Louis Browns in 1952
Bill McCahan Duke 1.23 ERA in first five games with Philadelphia Athletics in 1946 and 1947
Ben McDonald LSU won first six decisions while notching 2.52 ERA in first 17 games covering 53 2/3 innings with Baltimore Orioles in 1989 and 1990
Jim Mooney East Tennessee State won first six decisions while posting 1.13 ERA in first eight games, including five complete games, with New York Giants in 1931
Roy Parmelee Eastern Michigan 9.32 ERA in 13 games with New York Giants in 1929 and 1930
Dennis Rasmussen Creighton 1.27 in first five games covering 21 2/3 innings with San Diego Padres and New York Yankees in 1983 and 1984
Ron Reed Notre Dame won first six starts in initial full season with Atlanta Braves in 1968
Paul Reuschel Western Illinois 2.22 ERA in first 20 relief appearances with Chicago Cubs in 1975
Denny Riddleberger Old Dominion 0.82 ERA in first 10 relief appearances covering 11 innings with Washington Senators in 1970 and 1971
Eppa Rixey Virginia eventual Hall of Famer registered 2.50 ERA in 23 games (including 20 starts) with Philadelphia Phillies in 1912
Robin Roberts Michigan State eventual Hall of Famer registered 2.50 ERA in first 15 starts with Philadelphia Phillies in 1948
Garry Roggenburk Dayton 1.44 ERA in 34 relief appearances with Minnesota Twins in 1963 (also lost two starts)
Marius Russo NYU won last eight starts of rookie season while compiling 2.41 ERA in 21 games covering 116 innings with New York Yankees in 1939
Don Schwall Oklahoma All-Star as rookie posted 1.31 ERA in winning first five starts with Boston Red Sox in 1961
Rollie Sheldon Connecticut 2.28 ERA in first 18 games upon winning six straight decisions after firing back-to-back shutouts with New York Yankees in 1961
Sonny Siebert Missouri 5.67 ERA in first 12 games with Cleveland Indians in 1964
Lee Smith Northwestern State 1.26 ERA in first 12 relief appearances with Chicago Cubs in 1980
Dave Stenhouse Rhode Island All-Star as Senators rookie compiled 0.88 ERA in seven games after winning first three starts in 1962
Tim Stoddard North Carolina State 8.78 ERA in first eight relief appearances with Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles in 1975 and 1978
George Stone Louisiana Tech 2.85 ERA in first 11 games covering 41 innings with Atlanta Braves in 1967 and 1968
Darrell Sutherland Southern California 9.15 ERA in first eight games covering 20 2/3 innings with New York Mets in 1964
Cecil Upshaw Centenary 1.95 ERA covering 37 1/3 innings in first 24 relief appearances with Atlanta Braves in 1966 and 1967
Jim Wilson San Diego State 2.08 ERA in first six games covering 30 1/3 innings with Boston Red Sox in 1945
Chris Young Princeton 5.85 ERA in first four starts with Texas Rangers in 2004

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 20 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 Big Ten Conference basketball players Frank Howard (Ohio State) and Jerry Kindall (Minnesota) each hit two homers in the A.L. on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 20 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 20

  • Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year basketball letterman for Allegheny PA) stroked an inside-the-park HR in a 20-3 romp over the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967. RF Ted Savage (Lincoln MO scoring average leader in 1955-56) rounded out the Cubbies' scoring by stealing home in the seventh inning, prompting Dodgers P Don Drysdale to wave a white handkerchief of surrender.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates LF Carson "Skeeter" Bigbee (Oregon hoops letterman in 1915) provided three extra-base hits among his four safeties against the New York Giants in a 1922 game.

  • SS Alvin Dark (hoops letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to Chicago Cubs in 1958.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg PA on hoops scholarship but left before ever playing) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Houston Astros in 1972.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of last three seasons in late 1920s for Lebanon Valley PA) collected five RBI against the Chicago Cubs in a 1930 contest.

  • Oakland Athletics rookie 3B Wayne Gross (Cal Poly Pomona hoops leader in assists in 1974-75) contributed five RBI against the Seattle Mariners in a 1977 outing.

  • RHP Rich Hand (averaged 6.2 ppg for Puget Sound WA in 1967-68) traded by the Texas Rangers to the California Angels in 1973.

  • Washington Senators LF Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection when he led Ohio State in scoring and rebounding in 1956-57 and 1957-58) hammered two homers against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1967 game.

  • Cleveland Indians 2B Jerry Kindall (averaged 6.9 ppg for Minnesota as junior in 1955-56) clubbed two homers against the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a 1962 doubleheader.

  • Detroit Tigers LF Don Lund (Michigan starter in 1943-44 and 1944-45) delivered four hits against the New York Yankees in a 1953 contest.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lindy McDaniel (hooper for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) tossed a shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1958.

  • In the midst of a 14-game hitting streak, Cleveland Indians RF Ed Morgan (Tulane hoops letterman from 1923-24 through 1925-26) manufactured four RBI against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1930 doubleheader.

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Claude Passeau (Millsaps MS hooper in late 1920s and early 1930s) saw his record of 273 consecutive errorless chances come to an end in 1946.

  • RF Ted Tappe (leading scorer in 1949 NJCAA Tournament was Washington State's third-leading scorer following year), batting just before Hall of Famer Ernie Banks in the Chicago Cubs' lineup, ripped a homer in his second straight contest in 1955.

  • C Birdie Tebbetts (Providence hooper in 1932) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox in 1947.

  • In the midst of seven straight seasons hurling more than 200 innings, Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points from 1955-56 through 1957-58 for Benedictine KS) won his first six decisions in 1967.

  • Washington Senators RHP Monte Weaver (hoops center for Emory & Henry VA in mid-1920s) hurled a five-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox in 1933.

  • New York Giants rookie 1B Bill White (two-year Hiram OH hooper in early 1950s) went 5-for-7 in 1956 doubleheader sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. Three years later as member of Cards, White supplied three hits for the third time in a four-game span in 1959.

  • In the midst of a career-high 20-game hitting streak, San Francisco Giants CF Randy Winn (Santa Clara backcourtmate of eventual two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in 1993-94) registered his third three-hit outing in a span of six contests in 2007.

  • Boston Braves 3B Chuck Workman (two-time All-MIAA first-five selection was leading hoops scorer in 1937 when Central Missouri won inaugural NAIA Tournament) contributed three hits in both ends of a 1945 doubleheader split against the Cincinnati Reds.

American Idle: Several Active Head Coaches in Mothballs Longer Than Felton

Dennis Felton, who guided Western Kentucky and Georgia to the NCAA Tournament in the previous decade, was in head coaching mothballs for eight seasons until his hiring by Cleveland State. The following list of six active head coaches served in non-college head coaching capacities at least 10 seasons before returning to the Division I level as bench boss:

Active Coach Current School (Years Away) Previous DI Position (Seasons)
Joe Dooley Florida Gulf Coast (14) East Carolina (1995-96 through 1997-98)
Donnie Marsh Alabama A&M (13) Florida International (2000-01 through 2003-04)
Keith Dambrot Duquesne (11) Central Michigan (1990-91 and 1991-92) before hiring by Akron
Todd Bozeman Morgan State (10) California (1992-93 through 1995-96)
Tim Jankovich SMU (10) North Texas (1993-94 through 1996-97) before hiring by Illinois State
Bobby McCullum Florida A&M (10) South Florida (2003-04 through 2006-07)

On This Date: Ex-College Hoopers Make Their Mark on May 19 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 hoopers for colleges in Mississippi - Joe Gibbon (Ole Miss), Paul Gregory (MSU) and Claude Passeau (Millsaps) - had significant MLB things happen to them on this date. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 19 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 19

  • Cleveland Indians 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) contributed two homers and six RBI in a 7-6 loss against the Minnesota Twins in the nightcap of a 1963 twinbill.

  • Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year hoops letterman for Allegheny PA) had his 26-game hitting streak snapped by Ken Brett of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1973.

  • Tossing his second shutout in less than three weeks in 1981, Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Jim Bibby (Fayetteville State NC backup hooper and brother of UCLA All-American Henry Bibby) hurled a one-hitter against the Atlanta Braves.

  • Milwaukee Braves 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) banged out four hits against the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a 1963 doubleheader.

  • LF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's career scoring list in 1949-50 when finishing his career) traded by the Kansas City Athletics to the New York Yankees in 1960.

  • Cincinnati Reds 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named state's Mr. Basketball) collected four hits and four RBI in an 8-7 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a 1957 twinbill.

  • San Francisco Giants 3B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered twice in a 1978 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • RHP Mark Freeman (averaged 3.6 ppg for LSU as a senior in 1950-51) traded by the New York Yankees to the Chicago Cubs in 1960.

  • In 1968, LHP Joe Gibbon (two-time All-SEC forward for Ole Miss was nation's second-leading scorer as senior in 1956-57) yielded his only earned run in first 13 relief appearances with the San Francisco Giants.

  • In 1933, Chicago White Sox RHP Paul Gregory (Mississippi State hoops letterman in 1929-30) tossed his second complete-game victory in three weeks when allowing only one run.

  • Raising his batting average to .306, Chicago White Sox 1B Ron Jackson (second-team All-Mid-American Conference hoops choice from 1951-52 through 1953-54 led Western Michigan in scoring and rebounding his last two seasons) extended hitting streak to a career-high 10 games but finished the 1956 campaign with a .214 mark.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV hoops team with Bloomsburg PA in mid-1930s) went 4-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1942 contest.

  • Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) went 4-for-4 against the Baltimore Orioles in a 1993 outing.

  • LF Irv Noren (player of year for California community college state hoops champion Pasadena City in 1945) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1959.

  • Chicago Cubs RHP Claude Passeau (Millsaps MS hooper in late 1920s and early 1930s) pounded a grand slam in a 14-1 romp over the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941.

  • In the midst of surrendering fewer than three earned runs in 15 of 17 starts from late April to early July, Cleveland Indians RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) tossed a one-hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles in the nightcap of a 1968 doubleheader.

  • Detroit Tigers 2B Gary Sutherland (averaged 7.4 ppg with USC in 1963-64) smacked two homers against the Minnesota Twins in a 1975 game.

  • San Diego Padres RF Will Venable (All-Ivy League first-team selection as junior and second-team choice as senior averaged 9.3 ppg under Princeton coach John Thompson III from 2001-02 through 2004-05) scored four runs and supplied three extra-base hits in a 10-5 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.

Keene Advantage: MAC Contributes Nation's Top Scorer First Time in 53 Years

Central Michigan junior guard Marcus Keene (30 ppg) became the first Mid-American Conference player since Bowling Green guard Howard Komives (36.7 in 1963-64) to lead the nation in scoring. Keene, the most dominant scorer in single season thus far in 21st Century, is only the eighth different individual to pace the country by more than 4.8 ppg in scoring average in the first 70 campaigns since the NCAA began tracking this category in the late 1940s. His entry into the NBA draft as an undergraduate squandered an opportunity to emerge as the only dominating point producer in this select company other than all-time leading scorer Pete Maravich (three of six widest margins with LSU from 1967-68 through 1969-70) to make the following list more than once:

NCAA DI Leading Scorer Season National Scoring Runner-Up Scoring Margin
Pete Maravich, Louisiana State (44.2) 1968-69 Rick Mount, Purdue (33.3) 10.87 ppg
Frank Selvy, Furman (41.7) 1953-54 Bob Pettit, Louisiana State (31.4) 10.29 ppg
Hersey Hawkins, Bradley (36.3) 1987-88 Daren Queenan, Lehigh (28.5) 7.84 ppg
Pete Maravich, Louisiana State (44.5) 1969-70 Austin Carr, Notre Dame (38.1) 6.41 ppg
Marshall Rogers, Pan American (36.8) 1975-76 Freeman Williams, Portland State (30.9) 5.87 ppg
Pete Maravich, Louisiana State (43.8) 1967-68 Calvin Murphy, Niagara (38.2) 5.6 ppg
Billy McGill, Utah (38.8) 1961-62 Jack Foley, Holy Cross (33.3) 5.5 ppg
Charles Jones, Long Island (30.1) 1996-97 Ed Gray, California (24.8) 5.33 ppg
Kevin Bradshaw, U.S. International (37.6) 1990-91 Alphonso Ford, Mississippi Valley State (32.7) 4.96 ppg
Marcus Keene, Central Michigan (30) 2016-17 Chris Clemons, Campbell (25.1) 4.86 ppg

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