What the Heel: Carolina Way Still Includes Stalling From All Corners

Did North Carolina hire Hillary Clinton's vigorous lawyers experienced at redacting documents before releasing NCAA allegations stemming from a shady African and Afro-American independent study course? Amid the "Four Corners" stalling (administration/coaching staff/press/politicians), could we at least have some pre-response entertainment such as a spirited dunk contest among foot-dragging Chancellor Carol Holt, Sgt. Schultz-like coach Roy "I Know Nothing" Williams, look-the-other-way media represented by Dick Vitale and mum state politicians more enthused about prospect of third NCAA championship in 12 years justifying contract extension for Williams? The dunk-a-thon should be conducted on a kids goal because that is the Sepp Blatter-like way principals involved in this ruse have played footsie with onlookers.

If the Heelhole of a selling-your-scholastic-soul scheme was solely for GPA boosting, Carolina's 2005 (10 of 15 members were AFAS majors with total of 35 "pretty doggone good" bogus classes over two semesters) and 2009 NCAA titles could be in jeopardy of being vacated. Shrouded in more secrecy than Area 51, candid commentary probably will hinge on subpoena-related deposition details emerging from suing players promised a good education but major-manipulated into AFAS, Communications plus Exercise and Sport Science.

At any rate, for the sake of supplying a good chuckle to offset a portion of the angst, the public should have an opportunity to digest a sampling of the pithy prose from those unread Prime Time 10-page papers (assigned mostly A grades with few B+ marks since a player or two may have misspelled his name). Pilfering POTUS lingo, pinhead purveyors simply seek to say: "You didn't write (or build) that!" UNC, admitting "regrettable actions" even before an academic accreditation sanction, may deserve the death penalty simply because disgraceful no-show classes came under the umbrella of a Center For Ethics. To date, there has been no delusional discrimination claim among UNC athletes or regular students failing to have access to Asian-American, Cuban-American, Irish-American, Latin-American or Mexican-American studies.

The university has paid in excess of $1 million in PR costs dealing with the scholastic scandal but that's an affordable expense insofar as there was significant savings over these many years when no faculty was necessary to actually provide instruction for bogus bookwork. Rather than learning classy pass fakes on the court, the courted players passed by "learning" in fake classes. It's no excuse but, if the let's-not-dwell-on-the-negative media would get off its royal cushion, how many other schools across the nation have comparable compromising courses? This is not exactly virgin territory among power-league members after a former Minnesota tutor claimed she wrote or helped write more than 400 papers or pieces of coursework for in excess of 20 Gophers players in the mid-1990s. Amid notice of allegations to UNC, the NCAA should remember: "If you don't stand for something (such as higher scholastic standards), you'll fall for anything (excessive number of suspect student-athletes)."

How in Heel is having athletic department personnel steering players into sham classes for 18 years not, at its core curriculum, a textbook definition of "lack of institutional control?" On the other hand, it may be the "institution (athletic department)" was very much in control and knew damn well it was playing puppeteer as much as POTUS using the "N" word in a radio interview. What exactly were the names of these equally undignified 101 classes? Perhaps the AFAS coloring-book syllabus included: Urban Riots Honoring Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin; Hands Off! Don't Loot!; Black Lives Matter Except For Aborted Innocent Babies; Rap is Crap But Deserves National Anthem; Cultural Impact of Hair Braiding and Pants On the Ground; Dignity and Ethics in Setting O.J. Free; Profiling Welfare Kings and Queens; Where's Your Daddy?; Race-Hustling Leaders Rev Al, Jesse Jackson and Van Jones; Reasons Why Black Sheep Vote More Than 90% For Dimorats; Impact of Tattoo Misspellings; How Jailin' Rose Bombs Uncle Toms; Dancin' On Their Graves Like Ray Lewis; Breathing Around ESPN's Undefeated Jason Whitlock, etc., etc., etc.

When will ESPN get to the bottom of the chicanery by giving truth serum to two of the network's college football commentators (former UNC coaches Mack Brown and Butch Davis) or yielding answers via another orchestrated interview with Coy Roy serving as master of "really-bothered-by-whole-thing" ceremonies featuring backdrop of supportive ex-players? ESPN, in a stimulating move as vital as the Bunny Ranch supporting Shrillary, should have just gone ahead and issued Williams' support group some "Game Day" posters for their journalistic juvenile pep rally. Defining courage down via crass tabloidism, the network has gone so far let-it-be left it Jennerly defended decision to give ESPY Courage Award to Bruce or Caitlyn or whatever he or she is rather than infinitely more obvious choice of Army veteran Noah Galloway or the late women's hoopster Lauren Hill.

What a surprise Brown's coaching career included Texas, which is also investigating reports of academic misconduct among Longhorns athletes. Amid all of the press posturing and Carolina's scholastic shenanigans, even if you have to fabricate, don't let integrity icon Dean Smith's last two Final Four teams in the mid-1990s be involved in any way or else no coach on the planet can be trusted. It seems totally out of character, but time will tell if liberal "do-anything-for-them" overkill via "fairness" control-freak tendencies polluted UNC's program at the genesis of the academic scandal and will eventually stain his legacy. If so, we'll all be weeping like a Villanova pep-band piccolo player.

How difficult would it have been for Williams, instead of pleading educational mission ignorance, to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule per semester to assess academic progress of each of his players? Didn't he acknowledge there was "class clustering" early in his Carolina head coaching tenure? It is the height of hypocrisy for him and other "father-figure" DI mentors to have contract bonus provisions stemming from APR/graduation rates. Will UNC's extension into the next decade demand he apologize to whistle-blower tutor Mary "Just Keep My Players Eligible" Willingham? Didn't Williams figuratively assault her (triggering death threats in aftermath of additional administration admonishments) by impugning Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary's character saying her illiteracy claims were untrue and totally unfair about a striking number of scholars boasting middle-school reading skills?

Said Willingham prior to settling a lawsuit with UNC for $335,000 (about $1,000 per basketball player enrollment in paper class minus attorneys' fees): "I went to a lot of basketball games in the Dean Dome, but Roy never came and sat with me while I tutored his guys." Heaven help us if Williams' "sad-time" excuses, coupled with equally lame remarks from gridiron mentors Brown and Davis regarding the academic debris, are typical of the coaching community level of interest in authentic advancement toward a genuine diploma. Reminiscent of escaped convicts in New York deserving inclusion in a penitentiary honors program, two-time All-American Rashad McCants claims he made Dean's List at UNC one semester despite failing to attend any of the four classes in which he "earned" straight A's on his way out (at least not via manhole cover).

In this absence-of-standards era, Williams is virtually guaranteed a job with ESPN as an analyst if he fibs to NCAA investigators similar to certifiable liar Bruce Pearl. Amid the pimpish compartmentalization, there are also "clever" guys such as Oregon stemming from its timing in waiting to expel three players implicated in an alleged sexual assault in order to avoid a reduction in its Academic Progress Rate score. Meanwhile, fellow Pac-12 Conference member California adopted a stricter admissions policy when it comes to academics. Will Cal set a nationwide trend for increased scholastic standards or will majority of universities duck the issue? Not if the condescending NCAA headquarters appears much more concerned about Indian nicknames.

Former Duke starter Jay Bilas, who succeeded Vitale as ESPN's Prime Time Performer in the GameDay color commentator role, has experiential ACC knowledge competing against colorful North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano's suspect squads (735 average SAT score - featuring Chris Washburn at 470 - and excessive number of positive drug tests during the 1980s). While pondering rigorous courses washout Washburn passed to remain academically eligible for more than a season, a cold-blooded question surfaces as to whether the academic anemia at UNC is worse than what occurred at N.C. State, which probably gains the negative nod if only because of Washburn teammate Charles Shackleford's following animal-expert quote: "Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter. I'm amphibious." The "A" in "bring your A-game" in an ACC ad apparently doesn't stand for academics.

If bookish Bilas genuinely knows self-evaluation "toughness," he will maneuver upstream and shift his passion from lambasting the NCAA about paying these gentlemen and scholars to a lawyerly focus on stopping the NCAA from preying on players who have no business representing universities because they aren't authentic student-athletes. Granted, such an academic-values modification will translate into an inferior product for him and his network to promote (and for luminaries such as Jim Boeheim, John Calipari, Bob Huggins, Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino plus Williams to coach for that matter). But does a mediocre Duke player such as Lance Thomas need more than $30,000 as down payment on jewelry? What about multiple Memphis players reporting they were robbed of more than $66,000 worth of vital items for Calipari-coached college students (mink coats, diamond earrings, stereo equipment, flat-screen TV)?

Moreover, Syracuse's Boeheim wouldn't have an opportunity to be "impressed" about one-and-done Carmelo Anthony's 1.8 gpa before failing to mention if Anthony attended more classes than games his second semester. Did BMOC Melo mellow out in Orange-hot Child and Family Studies? Too many self-serving schools and their athletic departments are living an academic lie as much as the white NAACP chapter president and are ignorant as much as CNN anchor calling Dallas gunman "brave and courageous" for shooting at police headquarters.

When there are games and national crowns to win, how interested could Bilas' alma mater and Carolina's chief rival possibly be in education these days, anyway? Three freshman sensations from this year's NCAA titlist give Duke six one-and-done "graduates" in a five-year span. After Julius Randle became the sixth Kentucky freshman in the previous five years to be among the NBA's top eight draft picks, the gifted group may have pooled credit-hour resources for a single shared diploma (hopefully not useless AFAS). Randle, breaking his right leg in NBA debut with the L.A. Lakers, and Duke All-American Jabari Parker, incurring a season-ending knee injury between Thanksgiving and Christmas, got prompt "nothing-lasts-forever" lessons that it might be prudent to pay a little attention to academic pursuits. What quality of classes are taken in college by mercenary professional-caliber athletes if a mind-numbing 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy five years after retirement?

Openness in revealing UNC's academic allegations and the NCAA's mission-statement response to this subterfuge will determine how ethically bankrupt major-college athletics has become under the present leadership and corrosive press incompetently covering the corruption.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 (played 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 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.

  • 3B Gene Freese (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 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 hoop 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 1937.

  • 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 guard for Lafayette as a 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 (played 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 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 (played for Hope MI 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.

  • 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 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 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 games of the month in 1957.

  • The Chicago Cubs went 32 games in 1943 before hitting a homer prior to RF Bill Nicholson (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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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.

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

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Boo Ferriss (Mississippi State 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 (played 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 (played for Bucknell 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 1973.

  • Philadelphia Phillies RF Bill Nicholson (Washington College MD 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 (played for Millsaps MS in late 1920s and early 1930s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs in 1939.

  • LF Ray Pepper (Alabama 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 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 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 (played for Kalamazoo MI 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 captain in 1954-55) slugged his second pinch-hit homer in an eight-game span in 1962.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 1954, 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 1961.

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

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoop 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 (led Thomas More KY in assists 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 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 selection in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with Eastern Mennonite VA) socked two homers against the California Angels in 1987.

  • 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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 player in early 1920s) whacked two homers against the Detroit Tigers in 1933.

  • 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 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 1984.

  • Cleveland Indians 1B Mike Hargrove (Northwestern Oklahoma State 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 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 went 3-for-3 with three stolen bases against the Oakland Athletics in 1994.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers LHP Preacher Roe (played for Harding AR 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 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 1932, 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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 (played 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 letterman for Texas A&M in early 1930s) collected two homers and five RBI against the Boston Red Sox in 1937.

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

  • 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 player in early 1920s) went 5-for-5 against the Washington Senators in 1929.

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

  • St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California 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 (played in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) furnished four hits against the San Francisco Giants in 1974.

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

  • In 1970, 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 (played 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 squad in 1953-54) fanned 16 Philadelphia Phillies batters in a 1962 game.

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

  • 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 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 (played for Grove City PA 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 he attended Mount Morris IL in early 1930s) retired the first 23 Boston Red Sox batters he faced in 1944 game.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 1956.

  • 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 1965.

  • Hall of Fame C Mickey Cochrane (Boston University player 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 letterman from 1922 through 1924) endured his only hitless contest in a 28-game span to early June.

  • 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 a grand slam) in a 15-12 verdict over the St. Louis Browns.

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

  • 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 hoop scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) went 4-for-4, including two homers, against the New York Yankees in 1938.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played 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 1959.

  • Washington Senators RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year 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) 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 year 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 1967.

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

  • 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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 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 player in early 1920s) went 4-for-4 against the Washington Senators in 1929. Eight years later with the Detroit Tigers, Cochrane collected four hits against the Senators in 1937.

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

  • 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 selection for Baylor in the 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 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 (played for Bucknell 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.

  • 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 2015.

  • 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.

Looks Are Deceiving: High School Player Ratings Little More Than Media Hype

Loyalists for big-name schools are counting on remaining or returning to elite status next season. Typically, the follow-the-pack national media falls in lockstep predicting most of them will be back to at least near the top of the national polls. But welfare writers (accepting guesswork handouts from well-meaning but ineffectual middle men) better hope the recruiting gurus ranking high school hotshots emerge from a sorry slump. A textbook example is Frank Kaminsky, who wasn't a Top 100 recruit in 2011 but emerged as unanimous national player of the year as a Wisconsin senior. Meanwhile, 17 of the consensus Top 50 prospects in 2011 failed to average at least 10 points per game in their college careers.

What good are prep player rankings if the brainiac analysts can't come close to pinpointing a prospect who will become a college All-American in a couple of years? Two seasons ago provided ample evidence of rating ineptitude when four of the five NCAA unanimous All-American first-team selections, including national player of the year Trey Burke (Michigan), weren't ranked among the consensus Top 100 H.S. recruits assembled by RSCI the years they left high school. First-teamer Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga) and Final Four MOP Luke Hancock (Louisville) weren't among the top 100 in 2009. First-teamers Doug McDermott (Creighton) and Victor Oladipo (Indiana) plus honorable mention All-American Russ Smith (leading scorer for NCAA champion Louisville) weren't among the top 100 in 2010.

Three strikes and the player pimps are out (of credibility). Burke, McDermott and Kaminsky pooled their previously overlooked assets to assemble a string of three straight national POY honorees. Burke wasn't included among the consensus top 100 in 2011 although every scout in this burgeoning charade saw him play on the same high school squad with eventual Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger. Ditto McDermott with regal recruit Harrison Barnes (North Carolina).

Unbelievably, a UM teammate by the name of Carlton Brundidge was ranked higher than Burke but Brundidge scored a grand total of six points in 15 games before leaving the Wolverines' program. Media hacks as confused as Bruce Jenner, apparently incapable of calculating the difference between AAU-pickup street ball and genuine team ball, should be deep-sixed when you consider the following long list of mediocre players ranked higher than Burke but averaging fewer than six points per game in their DI college careers: Tyler Adams (Georgetown/2.5 ppg), Juan Anderson (Marquette/3.8), C.J. Barksdale (Virginia Tech/5.2), Jamal Branch (Texas A&M & St. John's/4.9), Angelo Chol (Arizona & San Diego State/3.1), Erik Copes (George Mason/4.7), Nnanna Egwu (Illinois/5.5), D.J. Gardner (Mississippi State/RS kicked off team), Malcolm Gilbert (Pittsburgh & Fairfield/1.4), Mikael Hopkins (Georgetown/4.9), Sidiki Johnson (Arizona & Providence/2.9), Ty Johnson (Villanova & South Carolina/3.3), Damien Leonard (South Carolina/5.5), Hunter Mickelson (Arkansas & Kansas/4.6), Alex Murphy (Duke & Florida/3.2), Dai-Jon Parker (Vanderbilt/5.4), Marshall Plumlee (Duke/1.4), Zach Price (Louisville & Missouri/0.9), Julian Royal (Georgia Tech & George Mason/3.3), Mike Shaw (Illinois & Bradley/1.3), Antwan Space (Florida State & Texas A&M/4.8), Bernard Sullivan (Clemson & Charlotte/2.2), Naadir Tharpe (Kansas/5.1), Shaquille Thomas (Cincinnati/5.5) and Amir Williams (Ohio State/4.9).

At least the so-called experts offering these mistake-ridden critiques had 2013 first-teamer Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown) and second-teamer Ben McLemore (Kansas) ranked among the top 50 in 2011. But as a cautionary measure, pore over this information again the next time some lazy broadcaster needing a drool bucket begins slobbering over a pimple-faced teenager without ever seeing him play firsthand and only using recruiting services as a resource. In fact, the purveyors of know-it-all opinion should be behind the eight ball when they had the following players averaging less than eight points per game in their college careers ranked ahead of Porter and McLemore: Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse/7.4), Michael Gbinije (Duke & Syracuse/6.4), Shannon Scott (Ohio State/5.5) and Josiah Turner (Arizona/6.8).

Turner was jailed a couple of days a couple of years ago as punishment for "extreme" DUI. He should have been joined behind bars by dopey devotees intoxicated by recruiting services proclaiming him and more than 100 other players as better than Burke. Who really is more inebriated if they accept as gospel player rankings dwelling on wingspans, weight reps, Soul Train dance moves and carnival-like dunk contests? How about focusing solely on whether they'll continue to improve against comparable athletes, boast the proper attitude to learn to fit in with teammates in a me-myself-and-I generation and make a major bottom-line impact on the game rather than strut-your-stuff swagger? When pass is considered a dirty four-letter word, the chronic over-hyping doesn't appear as if it will end anytime soon evidenced by a couple of 2013 Top 10 recruits declaring for the NBA draft - Florida's Chris Walker (3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.1 apg) and Kentucky's Dakari Johnson (5.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.5 apg).

NBA Most Valuable Player and three-point shooting sensation Stephen Curry (Davidson) is perhaps the premier collegian thus far this century. If you've got a life, you don't have time to go over all of the no-names ranked better than Curry when he graduated from high school in 2006. You'd have an easier task competing in the national spelling bee, trying to size up all of the issues involving Tulsa coach Frank Haith's checking account when he was at Miami (Fla.) or discerning how much Roy Williams "earned" in academic progress bonuses at North Carolina.

Rating recruits - the ultimate sports distortion foisted upon dupes - is akin to believing government grifters telling the gullible masses that taxpayer-financed Muslim extremist terrorism is workplace violence or fueled by a largely unseen movie. Pilfering a propaganda-like phrase spun during the institutionalizing of political correctness to the detriment of the safety of the American people, the player ratings are authentic "man-made disasters." They need to make a dramatic turnaround comparable to the White House's post-marathon bombing appeasing administration lauding Cambridge/Boston area police after previous exploitation portraying them as "acting stupidly" when it suited their agenda. Amid the insulting misinformation overload, it might be time to visit Rev. Wrong's church and see if he is recruiting susceptible supporters by telling his captive audience that "America's Chechens have come home to roost." Truth escape artists and opponents of Tsarnaev receiving a death-penalty sentence can simply deny you ever heard or read such impudence.

The same play-dumb mindset comparable to the Benghazi stonewalling applies to entitlement-era "ridiculists" stemming from recruiting service player ratings. Resembling Jason Collins' long-time fiancée, you look like a full-fledged fool by putting a significant amount of stock in these breathless rush-to-judgment projections spawning a slew of blue-chippers turned prima donnas. But don't muzzle 'em with a jock jihad or sound as lucid as the buffoonish Bomb Mom. Just give the sane a barf bag when clueless adults hold their collective breath to see if some coddled kid dons their alma mater's cap on TV announcing a college choice. Why can't we simply wait until the impressionable athletes compete in an actual game on a college court before rendering assessments on their ability at the next level?

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 1953.

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

  • Philadelphia Athletics 3B Buddy Blair (LSU 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 (played for Southwestern Oklahoma State) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees for P Dick Tidrow in 1979.

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

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

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

  • 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 (played 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 letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) cracked three extra-base hits against the Boston Red Sox in 1941.

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

  • INF Dan Monzon (played for Buena Vista IA 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 1975.

  • RHP Curly Ogden (competed as 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 letterman in 1913-14 and 1915-16) tossed a five-hit shutout against the Brooklyn Robins in 1920.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Paul Popovich (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.

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

Guardian of Hoop Galaxy: MSU Decommit Swanigan Runs Reverse to Purdue

Reverse responsibilities in tow, a former NFL linebacker was instrumental in perhaps the biggest news of the off-season. Purdue probably went from a borderline Top 25 team to an authentic Final Four candidate when regal recruit Caleb Swanigan decommitted from Michigan State and aligned with the Boilermakers, giving them one of the nation's most imposing frontcourts. Roosevelt Barnes, Swanigan's guardian, averaged 2.7 points and 1.1 rebounds per game as a senior in 1980-81 under coach Gene Keady, who played football for Kansas State before becoming a 19th-round choice as a back by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1958 NFL draft.

Barnes, a 6-2 guard, collected 14 points and 23 rebounds in 24 games for Purdue's 1980 Final Four team after scoring 39 points in 43 games the previous two campaigns. College teammate of longtime coach Kevin Stallings played briefly for Fort Wayne in the CBA. Barnes, who led the Boilers in tackles for loss with nine in 1981, was a 10th-round NFL draft choice before competing four years from 1982 through 1985 with the Detroit Lions.

Barnes isn't the only football player who impacted Purdue hoops. He is joined by the following alphabetical list of versatile Boilermaker basketball/football athletes:

ERICH BARNES - Defensive back intercepted 45 passes in 14 seasons (1958 through 1971) with the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns. Fourth-round draft choice played in six Pro Bowls (1960-62-63-64-65-69) and six NFL championship games. Basketball teammate of eventual "Fearsome Foursome" DE Lamar Lundy was a 6-3, 190-pound forward-center who played briefly for the Boilermakers' varsity basketball team as a sophomore in 1955-56.

CHARLES DAVIS - Starting tight end most of four years from 2002 through 2005 caught 60 passes his last two seasons, including a 61-yard TD against archrival Indiana as a junior when he was a second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by the media. Fifth-round NFL draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. Upon return from 2004 Sun Bowl, the 6-6, 260-pounder averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 19 basketball games for the Boilermakers in Keady's swan song.

LEN DAWSON - Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame completed 2,136 passes for 28,731 yards and 239 touchdowns in 19 seasons (1957 through 1975) with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. First-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers went on to become a seven-time All-Pro. Quarterbacked the Chiefs to victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl following 1969 season. Played in two games as a 6-0, 180-pound guard for Purdue's basketball team in the 1956-57 campaign.

BOB GRIESE - TV analyst and member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Quarterback played 14 seasons (1967 through 1980) with the Miami Dolphins, completing 1,926 of 3,429 passes for 25,093 yards and 192 touchdowns. The first-round draft choice was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and played in three Super Bowls. As a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore guard in 1964-65, he scored 22 points in 16 games in his only varsity basketball season with the Boilermakers. "I always loved basketball, but it was impossible to do justice to both sports," Griese said.

LAMAR LUNDY - Member of the "Fearsome Foursome" as a defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams in his 13-year NFL career (1957 through 1969). Fourth-round draft choice participated in the 1960 Pro Bowl. Caught 35 passes for 584 yards and six touchdowns in his first three seasons. He averaged 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in three varsity seasons, leading the Boilermakers in rebounding as a junior and senior. He finished 30th in the country in field-goal shooting (48.1%) in 1956-57 when he was Purdue's only All-Big Ten Conference selection (third-team). Sketch in school guide: "The most improved player in the Big Ten. The 6-6, 225-pound Lundy was more often than not the equal of or better than opposing centers reaching 6-8 or 6-9. His unusual speed and defensive ability make him a valuable asset."

ELMER OLIPHANT - One of the legendary athletes in the history of college sports. Earned nine letters (three in football and two each in basketball, baseball and track) at Purdue before graduating in 1914. Two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection set a Boilermaker single-game football record with 43 points against Rose Poly on November 17, 1912. Won 12 letters at Army (U.S. Military Academy) in football, basketball, baseball, track, boxing and hockey before graduating in 1918. Consensus All-American halfback in 1916 and 1917 played pro football for Rochester and Buffalo in 1920 and 1921. The 5-7, 175-pound Oliphant was named to the 10-man All-American basketball teams selected in 1957 by the Helms Foundation for the 1913-14 and 1914-15 seasons. Spalding's Official Basketball Guide called him "the fastest and most aggressive floor worker in the conference."

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 letterman from 1932-33 through 1934-35) went 4-for-4 against the New York Giants in 1939.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played 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 1951. 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 1960.

  • 3B Jerry Lumpe (member of 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 1960, 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 2001.

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

  • 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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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.

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 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 hoopster 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 1931.

  • 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 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 (led Northern Iowa in scoring 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 squad with Bloomsburg PA three years 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 letterman from 1923-24 through 1925-26) had five hits against the Chicago White Sox in 1934.

  • 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.

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

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 (led Lincoln MO in scoring average 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 letterman in 1915) provided three extra-base hits among his four safeties against the New York Giants in 1922.

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

  • 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 1930.

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

  • 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 1967.

  • 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 1953.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lindy McDaniel (played 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 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 (played for Millsaps MS 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 the next 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 (played for Providence in 1932) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox in 1947.

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

Immortality and Honor: Memorial Day Contributions from College Hoopsters

They didn't have to worry about manipulation of waiting lists and receiving proper care from the VA because they didn't make it back home alive. Unless you're a coward comparable to MSNBC up-tight host Chris Hayes uncomfortable with calling fallen military "heroes", a Memorial Day weekend generates sobering reminders of what is really important to our freedom. College basketball contributions are aplenty.

Baylor 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-hoopsters 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, 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.

  • 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 beachmaster in early January 1945 in the Phillipines.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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."

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

  • 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.

  • 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 in 1943 while serving in the Navy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 causing him to drown.

  • 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.

  • Four-time All-MCAU forward Eugene "Peaches" Westover, class of '38 for Drury (MO), was killed January 1, 1945, at the Battle of the Bulge.

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.

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! 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 isn't "big" enough or sufficiently honorable to prevent stalling of a three-page veterans health bill. Petty politicians may forget their "sacred obligation" similar to POTUS' lame emphasis on climate change rather than military salutes at a Coast Guard ceremony but the remainder of us will not forget genuine heroes.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make 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 hoopsters 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 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 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 player 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.

  • 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 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 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 team with Bloomsburg PA three years in mid-1930s) went 4-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1942.

  • 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 1993.

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

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

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

  • 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.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make Mark on May 18 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 18 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 18

  • In 1958, Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) smacked two homers against his original team (the Cincinnati Reds).

  • Cincinnati Reds CF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) went 4-for-4 in a 7-6 win against the Brooklyn Robins in 1928.

  • Chicago Cubs RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State) provided two homers for the second time in three games in 1962.

  • OF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after being runner-up in both categories the previous season) traded by the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972.

  • New York Yankees RHP Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) hurled a four-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox in 1979.

  • Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) scored five runs in a 14-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox in 1959.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) stroked four hits against the Kansas City Royals in 1997.

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Gene Conley (All-Pacific Coast Conference first-team selection led the North Division in scoring as Washington State sophomore in 1949-50) tossed a four-hit shutout against the Detroit Tigers in 1961.

  • OF Hoot Evers (starter for Illinois in 1939-40) awarded on waivers from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Giants in 1954.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Eddie Fisher (played for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) posted his sixth save in as many relief appearances in a seven-day span in 1965.

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Dick Gernert (Temple letterman in 1948-49 swatted two homers in an 8-4 win against the Baltimore Orioles in 1958.

  • Philadelphia Phillies 1B Harvey Hendrick (Vanderbilt letterman in 1918) went 4-for-4 for the second time in a five-game span in 1934. Five years earlier in the midst of a career-high 25-game hitting streak for the Brooklyn Robins, Hendrick homered in back-to-back contests against the Phillies in 1929.

  • Washington Senators LF Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection when All-American led Ohio State in scoring and rebounding in 1956-57 and 1957-58) tied an A.L. record with a homer in six consecutive contests in 1968.

  • New York Giants OF Monte Irvin (played for Lincoln PA 1 1/2 years in late 1930s) clobbered a grand slam in a rain-shortened, 10-4 triumph over the Chicago Cubs in 1950.

  • New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (three-year letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) contributed three extra-base hits against the St. Louis Browns in 1948.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 collected four hits and scored four runs in a 1970 game against the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Washington Senators CF Don Lock (led Wichita State in field-goal percentage in 1956-57 and 1957-58 under coach Ralph Miller) smashed back-to-back homers against the Detroit Tigers in 1964.

  • LF Jerry Martin (1971 Southern Conference MVP after he was Furman's runner-up in scoring the previous season), pinch-hitting for Richie Hebner, slapped a game-winning, three-run homer for the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8-5 victory against the Houston Astros in 1978.

  • Chicago Cubs RF Bill Nicholson (Washington College MD guard for two years in mid-1930s) amassed five RBI against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945.

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make Mark on May 17 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 17 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 17

  • Milwaukee Brewers 1B Joe Adcock (Louisiana State's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) collected a homer among his four hits in a 9-4 triumph against the New York Giants in 1955.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LF Morrie Arnovich (played for Wisconsin-Superior in early 1930s) went 5-for-5, raising his batting average to .426, in a 7-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1939.

  • Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year letterman for Allegheny PA) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Cardinals in the midst of a 26-game hitting streak in 1973.

  • 1B-OF Larry Biittner (runner-up in scoring and rebounding for Buena Vista IA in 1966-67) traded with RHP Steve Renko (averaged 9.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg as a Kansas sophomore in 1963-64) by the Montreal Expos to the Chicago Cubs for 1B Andre Thornton in 1976. The next year, Biittner belted two of the Cubs' seven homers in a 23-6 romp over the San Diego Padres.

  • Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) swatted a homer in his third consecutive contest in 1958.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) socked two homers for the second time in a six-game span in 1997.

  • New York Mets 1B Donn Clendenon (four-sport letterman with Morehouse GA) clubbed two homers against the Atlanta Braves in 1971.

  • California Angels OF Billy Cowan (Utah letterman from 1957-58 through 1959-60 was co-captain of NCAA playoff team as senior) hit safely for the fourth time in a span of five pinch-hit appearances in 1970.

  • Boston Braves SS Dick Culler (#9 jersey retired by High Point for Little All-American in 1935 and 1936) went 4-for-4 in a 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1947.

  • Detroit Tigers CF Hoot Evers (starter for Illinois in 1939-40) broke up a scoreless duel with a two-run homer in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1947.

  • Boston Red Sox 1B Dick Gernert (Temple letterman in 1948-49 when averaging 2.7 ppg) went 4-for-4 in a 10-1 triumph against the Detroit Tigers in 1959.

  • San Francisco Giants RHP Ed Halicki (NAIA All-American third-team choice in 1971-72 when leading Monmouth in scoring with 21 ppg after setting school single-game rebounding record with 40 the previous season) hurled his second straight two-hitter in 1979.

  • 1B Ron Jackson (All-MAC second-team choice from 1951-52 through 1953-54 led Western Michigan in scoring his last two seasons) traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Milwaukee Braves for INF Ray Boone in 1960.

  • Atlanta Braves CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling a 35-3 record) supplied his third five-hit game of the 1997 campaign in an 11-6 triumph against the St. Louis Cardinals. Three years earlier with the Cleveland Indians, Lofton smacked two homers against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1994.

  • RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in the early 1920s) started the first of eight straight doubleheader openers for the Chicago White Sox in 1942.

  • Washington Senators 1B Sam Mele (NYU's leading scorer in 1943 NCAA playoffs) supplied two triples among his four hits in 1951 game against the Detroit Tigers.

  • CF Billy North (played four games with Central Washington in 1967-68) traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Los Angeles Dodgers for OF Glenn Burke in 1978.

  • CF Jim Northrup (second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for Alma MI in 1958-59) drilled a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 7-3 victory over the Washington Senators. It was one of Northrup's five grand slams in 1968.

  • In 1935, New York Giants RHP Roy Parmelee (Eastern Michigan letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) lost for the only time in his first 10 decisions to early July.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 2B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) supplied three extra-base safeties against the Chicago Cubs in 1949, triggering a streak where he had multiple-hit outings in 2/3 of his next 39 contests en route to a N.L.-high .342 batting average. Two years later, Robinson went 4-for-4 against the Cubs in 1951.

  • LHP Eric Stults (played for 1999 NAIA D-II Tournament runner-up and 2000 NCCAA Tournament titlist with Bethel IN) awarded on waivers from the Chicago White Sox to the San Diego Padres in 2012.

  • CF Bill Virdon (played for Drury MO in 1949) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1956 only one year after being named N.L. Rookie of the Year. He finished runner-up in the N.L. batting race with a .319 mark (.211 for the Cards and .334 for the Pirates).

  • In 1925, Washington Senators LHP Tom Zachary (Guilford NC letterman in 1916) yielded the 3,000th hit of Cleveland Indians OF Tris Speaker's career.

Small Town Value: UNI's Seth Tuttle Latest A-A From Obscure Municipality

Northern Iowa All-American Seth Tuttle came from an obscure hometown (Sheffield, IA) with small population (1,168 according to 2013 census). But there are a striking number of major-college All-Americans who came from even smaller outposts. Flyover-country hamlets offering little more than a part-time post office and gas station supplied the following standouts from municipalities with populations fewer than 1,000:

All-American Pos. Major College A-A Year(s) Hometown Population
James Anderson G Oklahoma State 2010 Junction City, AR 705
Forrest "Whitey" Baccus G Southern Methodist 1935 Estelline, TX 190
Frankie Baumholtz F Ohio University 1941 Midvale, OH 655
R. Gale Bishop F-C Washington State 1943 Sumas, WA 710
Tom Burleson C North Carolina State 1973 and 1974 Newland, NC 720
Bob Burrow C Kentucky 1955 and 1956 Wells, TX 925
A.W. Davis F Tennessee 1965 Rutledge, TN 830
Evan Eschmeyer C Northwestern 1999 New Knoxville, OH 760
Pat Garrity F Notre Dame 1998 Monument, CO 690
Joe Gibbon F Mississippi 1957 Hickory, MS 670
Gary Gray G Oklahoma City 1967 Fort Cobb, OK 760
Jimmy Hagan C Tennessee Tech 1959 Glendale, KY 300
Charles Halbert C West Texas State 1942 House, NM 120
Bob Harris C Oklahoma A&M 1949 Linden, TN 750
Kirk Haston F-C Indiana 2001 Lobelville, TN 915
Don Hennon G Pittsburgh 1958 and 1959 Wampum, PA 665
Bailey Howell F-C Mississippi State 1958 and 1959 Middleton, TN 595
Dick Ives F Iowa 1945 Diagonal, IA 360
Paul Judson G Illinois 1956 Hebron, IL 785
Dean Kelley G Kansas 1953 McCune, KS 530
Henry "Bud" Koper F-G Oklahoma City 1964 Rocky, OK 240
Paul Lindemann C Washington State 1941 Cowiche, WA 425
Karl Malone F Louisiana Tech 1985 Summerfield, LA 370
E. "Branch" McCracken F Indiana 1930 Monrovia, IN 860
Ryan Minor F Oklahoma 1995 and 1996 Hammon, OK 865
Phillip "Red" Murrell F Drake 1958 Linneus, MO 420
Willie Murrell F Kansas State 1964 Taft, OK 490
Otto Porter Jr. F Georgetown 2013 Morley, MO 697
Bryant Reeves C Oklahoma State 1994 and 1995 Gans, OK 345
Jack Smiley G Illinois 1943 Waterman, IL 945
Ray Steiner G St. Louis 1952 Bland, MO 660
John Stroud F Mississippi 1980 Myrtle, MS 400
Terry Teagle G-F Baylor 1982 Broaddus, TX 190
Gary Thompson G Iowa State 1957 Roland, IA 710
Jack Tingle F Kentucky 1947 Bedford, KY 835
Gene Tormohlen C Tennessee 1959 Holland, IN 685
Carlyle "Blackie" Towery C Western Kentucky 1940 and 1941 Shady Grove, KY 100
Kenny Walker F Kentucky 1985 and 1986 Roberta, GA 860
Waldo Wegner C Iowa State 1935 Everly, IA 350
Murray Wier G-F Iowa 1948 Grandview, IA 475
Win Wilfong F Memphis State 1957 Puxico, MO 830

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make Mark on May 16 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 16 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 16

  • Chicago Cubs RF Frankie Baumholtz (MVP in 1941 NIT and first player in Ohio University history to score 1,000 career points) banged out three extra-base hits in a 14-4 rout of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951.

  • Cleveland Indians SS Lou Boudreau (leading scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) went 4-for-4 against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1948 twinbill.

  • St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) amassed five hits and four RBI in a 9-8 win against the Chicago Cubs in 1930.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers RF-C Joe Ferguson (played in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) furnished four hits, including a game-winning homer, in an 8-6 triumph against the Cincinnati Reds in 1973.

  • St. Louis Cardinals SS Charlie Gelbert (scored at least 125 points each of last three seasons in late 1920s for Lebanon Valley PA) went 5-for-5 and scored four runs in 9-8 victory against the Chicago Cubs in 1930.

  • Cleveland Indians rookie RF Jim Gleeson (captain and all-league honoree graduated in 1933 from Rockhurst MO) registered four hits in a 10-3 victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the opener of a 1940 doubleheader.

  • Utilityman Chuck Harmon (freshman starter was Toledo's second-leading scorer for 1943 NIT runner-up) traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for INF Alex Grammas and OF Joe Frazier in 1956.

  • 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) notched his third two-homer contest in a four-game span in 1968.

  • Atlanta Braves 1B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg for Texas A&M in 1961-62) smacked two homers against the San Diego Padres in 1974.

  • Atlanta Braves RF David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85) stroked three extra-base hits against the Colorado Rockies in 1995.

  • Boston Braves RHP Andy Karl (Manhattan letterman from 1933 through 1935) sustained his first defeat of the 1947 season after failing to allow a run in first six relief appearances.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972.

  • A bases-loaded pinch triple by Rick Leach (averaged 15.5 ppg for Michigan's JV squad in 1975-76) put the Toronto Blue Jays ahead to stay in an 8-7 triumph against the Minnesota Twins in 1984.

  • New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (played for Bucknell at turn of 20th Century) had his string of 47 straight innings without issuing a walk end against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1913.

  • St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lindy McDaniel (played for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) fired a four-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1957.

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) whacked two homers against the Detroit Tigers in 1979.

  • Philadelphia Phillies LHP Eppa Rixey (Virginia letterman in 1912 and 1914) hurled a 15-inning complete game at Cincinnati and won, 3-2, via his sacrifice fly in 1920.

  • Detroit Tigers RHP Jeff Robinson (two-time NAIA All-District 3 honoree in early 1980s left Azusa Pacific CA as school's No. 9 all-time scorer) hurled a four-hit shutout against the Texas Rangers in 1990.

  • RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) traded by the San Diego Padres to the Oakland Athletics in 1975.

  • Washington Senators RHP Dave Sisler (All-Ivy League second-team selection for Princeton's first NCAA Tournament team in 1952) didn't allow an earned run in his first 12 relief appearances of the 1961 campaign.

  • Washington Senators rookie RHP Dave Stenhouse (three-time All-Yankee Conference selection for Rhode Island from 1952-53 through 1954-55), lowering his ERA to 0.88 through initial seven outings, won first three MLB starts in 1962.

  • Cincinnati Reds utilityman Jimmy Stewart (All-VSAC selection for Austin Peay's NCAA DII Tournament teams in 1959-60 and 1960-61) contributed a pinch-hit, three-run homer against the New York Mets in 1969.

  • 1B-OF Preston Ward (second-leading scorer for Southwest Missouri State in 1946-47 and 1948-49) traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Cleveland Indians in 1956.

Lost in Shuffle: Limelight of Legends Completely Obscures Predecessors

A total of 40 current NCAA Division I schools feature all-time winningest coaches boasting in excess of 400 triumphs. The length of tenure necessary to win so many games makes it almost impossible to remember their predecessors. Anyone who can name 1/4 of the mentors they succeeded goes straight to the Trivia Hall of Fame.

Billy Donovan's departure from Florida triggered a question as to what other individuals are completely overshadowed after being succeeded by a coaching legend. Donovan combined with fellow record holders Phog Allen, Dale Brown, Gale Catlett, Denny Crum, Ed Diddle, Hec Edmundson, Jack Friel, Don Haskins, Lou Henson, Hank Iba, Frank Keaney, Bob Knight, Bob McKillop, Ray Meyer, Lute Olson, Alex Severance, Norm Stewart, Bob Thomason, John Thompson Jr., Gary Williams, John Wooden and Ned Wulk for more than 12,500 victories at their respective schools where they established new standards. Who would have thought such achievements were in store after their predecessors collaborated to go more than 300 games below .500 over a collective 100-plus seasons.

One of the predecessor names in particular should surprise you. Incredibly, the only one of Kansas' 10 head coaches with a career losing record is the inventor of the sport (Dr. James Naismith). Naismith is among the following coaches who were succeeded by individuals posting more than 400 wins to become the all-time winningest mentor at the same institution:

School All-Time Winningest Coach Predecessor (W-L Record During Tenure)
Arizona Lute Olson (590 victories) Ben Lindsey (4-25 in 1982-83)
Arizona State Ned Wulk (405) Bill Kajikawa (88-137 from 1948-49 through 1956-57)
Butler Tony Hinkle (549) Harlan O. "Pat" Page (94-29 from 1920-21 through 1925-26)
California Clarence "Nibs" Price (449) Earl Wright (60-20 from 1920-21 through 1923-24)
Connecticut Jim Calhoun (626) Dom Perno (139-114 from 1977-78 through 1985-86)
Davidson Bob McKillop (495) Bobby Hussey (107-126 from 1981-82 through 1988-89)
Dayton Don Donoher (437) Tom Blackburn (352-141 from 1947-48 through 1963-64)
DePaul Ray Meyer (724) Bill Wendt (23-20 in 1940-41 and 1941-42)
Duke Mike Krzyzewski (945) Bill E. Foster (113-64 from 1974-75 through 1979-80)
Florida Billy Donovan (467) Lon Kruger (104-80 from 1990-91 through 1995-96)
Georgetown John Thompson Jr. (596) Jack Magee (69-80 from 1966-67 through 1971-72)
Houston Guy Lewis (592) Alden Pasche (135-116 from 1945-46 through 1955-56)
Illinois Lou Henson (421) Gene Bartow (8-18 in 1974-75)
Indiana Bob Knight (659) Lou Watson (62-60 from 1965-66 through 1968-69 and 1970-71)
Kansas Phog Allen (590) Dr. James Naismith (55-60 from 1899 through 1907)
Kentucky Adolph Rupp (875) John Mauer (40-14 from 1927-28 through 1929-30)
Louisiana State Dale Brown (448) Press Maravich (76-86 from 1966-67 through 1971-72)
Louisville Denny Crum (675) Howard Stacey (12-8 in 1970-71)
Maryland Gary Williams (461) Bob Wade (36-50 from 1986-87 through 1988-89)
Missouri Norm Stewart (634) Bob Vanatta (42-80 from 1962-63 through 1966-67)
Niagara Taps Gallagher (465) Bill McCarthy (44-35 from 1927-28 through 1930-31)
North Carolina Dean Smith (879) Frank McGuire (164-58 from 1952-53 through 1960-61)
Oklahoma State Hank Iba (655) Harold James (13-41 from 1931-32 through 1933-34)
Oregon State Slats Gill (599) Robert Hager (115-53 from 1922-23 through 1927-28)
Pacific Bob Thomason (414) Tom O'Neill (51-110 from 1982-83 through 1987-88)
Princeton Pete Carril (514) Butch van Breda Kolff (103-31 from 1962-63 through 1966-67)
Purdue Gene Keady (512) Lee Rose (50-18 in 1978-79 and 1979-80)
Rhode Island Frank Keaney (403) Fred Murray (9-8 in 1920-21)
St. John's Lou Carnesecca* (526) Frank Mulzoff (56-27 from 1970-71 through 1972-73)
Syracuse Jim Boeheim (965) Roy Danforth (148-71 from 1968-69 through 1975-76)
Temple John Chaney (516) Don Casey (151-94 from 1973-74 through 1981-82)
Texas A&M Shelby Metcalf (438) Bobby Rogers (92-52 from 1957-58 through 1962-63)
Texas-El Paso Don Haskins (719) Harold Davis (18-30 in 1959-60 and 1960-61)
UCLA John Wooden (620) Wilbur Johns (93-120 from 1939-40 through 1947-48)
UNLV Jerry Tarkanian (509) John Bayer (44-36 from 1970-71 through 1972-73)
Villanova Alex Severance (413) Doc Jacobs (62-56 from 1929-30 through 1935-36)
Washington Hec Edmundson (488) Stub Allison (7-8 in 1919-20)
Washington State Jack Friel (495) Karl Schlademan (18-27 in 1926-27 and 1927-28)
West Virginia Gale Catlett (439) Joedy Gardner (59-53 from 1974-75 through 1977-78)
Western Kentucky Ed Diddle (759) L.T. Smith (3-1 in 1922)

*Carnesecca succeeded Joe Lapchick when he served his first stint with St. John's from 1965-66 through 1969-70

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make Mark on May 15 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 15 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 15

  • Chicago Cubs RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State basketball team) made an eighth-inning leaping catch in 1960 to help preserve Don Cardwell's no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was Cardwell's first start for the Cubbies after he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies.

  • Kansas City Athletics LF Bob Cerv (ranked fourth on Nebraska's career scoring list in 1949-50 when finishing his career) blasted three homers against the Detroit Tigers in a 1960 doubleheader.

  • 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 five RBI in a 9-4 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1958.

  • RHP George Earnshaw (Swarthmore PA participant in 1922) purchased from the Chicago White Sox by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers C Joe Ferguson (played in 1967 NCAA playoffs with Pacific) furnished two homers and five RBI against the Houston Astros in 1974.

  • Hall of Fame C Rick Ferrell (played for Guilford NC in mid-1920s) traded by the Washington Senators to the St. Louis Browns in 1941.

  • Philadelphia Athletics 2B Gene Handley (Bradley letterman in 1932-33 and 1933-34) had four hits in a 14-inning game against the Detroit Tigers in 1947.

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) homered twice against the Chicago Cubs in 1951.

  • Atlanta Braves RF David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85) sidelined for the remainder of the 1996 campaign after dislocating his right shoulder swinging at a pitch.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Bob Keegan (Bucknell letterman in 1941-42 and 1942-43) went the first 21 2/3 innings of the 1956 season without yielding an earned run.

  • Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) contributed five hits against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974.

  • New York Giants RHP Christy Mathewson (played for Bucknell at turn of 20th Century) tossed his third straight shutout in 1901.

  • In 1984, Philadelphia Phillies 1B Len Matuszek (starter for Toledo's 18-7 team in 1975-76) smashed a homer in his fourth game out of the last five contests.

  • The first MLB victory for San Francisco Giants rookie LHP Phil Nastu (averaged 13.6 ppg and 4.2 rpg as senior for Bridgeport CT 1976 DII Elite Eight team compiling 24-5 record) ended up as his lone complete game (8-1 nod over the Houston Astros in 1979).

  • New York Yankees LF Irv Noren (player of the year for California junior college state champion Pasadena City in 1945) stroked an inside-the-park grand slam in an 8-4 win over the Kansas City Athletics in 1955.

  • 2B Marv Olson (all-conference selection was team MVP for Luther IA) traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in 1933 but never played for the Bronx Bombers.

  • RHP Nels Potter (leading scorer during two years he attended Mount Morris IL in early 1930s) purchased from the St. Louis Browns by the Philadelphia Athletics for $17,500 in 1948.

  • 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) banged out four hits in a 6-1 win against the Washington Nationals in 2012.

Let's Make a Deal: Coveted Coaches Secure Security Into Next Decade

Mike Brey has come a long way in college basketball since commencing his playing career by averaging 5 points per game with Northwestern State (Natchitoches, La.) in 1977-78 and 1978-79 when the then NCAA Division I newcomer Demons compiled a 19-34 two-season record while losing to Louisiana College three times and East Texas Baptist once.

It might not duplicate the lifetime contract of Brey's former mentor, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, but his deal with Notre Dame through 2021-22 is among the longest defined coaching contracts. Louisville's Rick Pitino (through 2025-26) and Northern Iowa's Ben Jacobson (through 2024-25) have the longest defined pacts. Kentucky's John Calipari certainly will be earning more money than Brey in 2021-22 (reported $8 million).

The length of Brey's deal certainly can be justified if he directs the Irish to its first NCAA Tournament championship game, but he first needs to assemble a winning career playoff mark and guide the Irish to a Final Four. Neither a shaky economy nor scholastic shenanigans similar to North Carolina are deterring universities from dishing out long-term agreements as the following alphabetical list of coaches boast contracts extending at least five additional seasons into the next decade:

Coach School Length of Contract
Steve Alford UCLA through 2020-21
Mike Anderson Arkansas through 2019-20
Rick Barnes Tennessee through 2020-21
Randy Bennett Saint Mary's through 2020-21
Tony Bennett Virginia through 2020-21
Mike Brey Notre Dame through 2021-22
Brad Brownell Clemson through 2019-20
John Calipari Kentucky through 2021-22
Chris Collins Northwestern through 2019-20
Tom Crean Indiana through 2019-20
Mick Cronin Cincinnati through 2020-21
Keith Dambrot Akron through 2022-23
Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh through 2022-23
Bryce Drew Valparaiso through 2022-23
Mark Fox Georgia through 2019-20
Jerod Haase UAB through 2020-21
Frank Haith Tulsa through 2020-21
Chris Holtmann Butler through 2020-21
Michael Huger Bowling Green through 2020-21
Bob Huggins West Virginia through 2022-23
Ron Hunter Georgia State through 2019-20
Danny Hurley Rhode Island through 2020-21
Tom Izzo Michigan State through 2020-21
Ben Jacobson Northern Iowa through 2024-25
Larry Krystkowiak Utah through 2022-23
Jim Larranaga Miami (FL) through 2021-22
Mike Lonergan George Washington through 2020-21
Chris Mack Xavier through 2020-21
Gregg Marshall Wichita State through 2021-22
Greg McDermott Creighton through 2019-20
Tim Miles Nebraska through 2019-20
Archie Miller Dayton through 2021-22
Chris Mooney Richmond through 2020-21
LeVelle Moton North Carolina Central through 2021-22
Craig Neal New Mexico through 2019-20
Tim O'Shea Bryant through 2019-20
Rick Pitino Louisville through 2025-26
Lorenzo Romar Washington through 2019-20
Dave Rose Brigham Young through 2019-20
Bill Self Kansas through 2021-22
Shaka Smart Texas through 2021-22
Michael White Florida through 2020-21
Roy Williams North Carolina through 2019-20
Marty Wilson Pepperdine through 2020-21

On This Date: Former College Hoopsters Make Mark on May 14 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.

Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is a May 14 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:

MAY 14

  • In 1977, RHP Jim Colborn (attended Whittier CA in mid-1960s before studying for master's at Edinburgh where he was All-Scotland in basketball) hurled the first no-hitter at Royals Stadium by a Kansas City pitcher (6-0 win against the Texas Rangers).

  • Boston Red Sox RHP Boo Ferriss (Mississippi State letterman in 1941) threw only 78 pitches in a 3-0 shutout against the Chicago White Sox in 1946.

  • Baltimore Orioles LHP Mike Flanagan (averaged 13.9 ppg for UMass' freshman squad in 1971-72) fired his first MLB shutout, a five-hitter against the Oakland Athletics in 1977. Four years later, Flanagan hurled his second whitewash in a little over two weeks in 1981.

  • St. Louis Cardinals 2B Frankie Frisch (Fordham captain) supplied three extra-base hits against the New York Giants in 1930.

  • One of five victories by Kansas City Royals RHP Rich Gale (led New Hampshire with 7.2 rpg in 1975-76) during the month in 1979 was a five-hit shutout against the Seattle Mariners.

  • Detroit Tigers 1B Hank Greenberg (enrolled at NYU on hoop scholarship in 1929 but attended college only one semester) whacked two homers against the St. Louis Browns in the opener of a 1939 doubleheader.

  • Philadelphia Phillies 1B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg for Texas A&M in 1961-62) jacked two homers against the San Diego Padres in 1977.

  • Detroit Tigers RF Rusty Kuntz (played J.C. hoops for Cuesta CA) registered two extra-base hits among his three safeties against the Seattle Mariners in 1984.

  • SS Doc Lavan (played for Hope MI from 1908 through 1910) purchased from the Washington Senators by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1919.

  • Chicago White Sox RHP Ted Lyons (two-time All-SWC first-team selection for Baylor in early 1920s) hurled a shutout against the New York Yankees. The whitewash was one of four triumphs for Lyons in a 12-day span in 1925.

  • Mel McGaha (first Arkansas player to earn four letters from 1943-44 through 1946-47) fired as manager of the Kansas City Athletics by owner Charlie Finley in 1965.

  • New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) smashed two homers against the California Angels in 1977.

  • Chicago Cubs rookie SS Paul Popovich (teammate of Jerry West for West Virginia's 1960 NCAA playoff team) stroked four hits and scored three runs in a 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the nightcap of a 1967 twinbill.

  • OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln MO in scoring average in 1955-56) purchased from the St. Louis Cardinals by the Chicago Cubs in 1967.

  • 1B Dick Siebert (played for Concordia-St. Paul MN in 1929 and 1930) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1938.

  • PH Babe Young (Fordham letterman in 1936) contributed a double and triple in a 10-run, eighth-inning explosion propelling the New York Giants to a 12-6 triumph against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1942.

Mark Among Few Good Men: Gonzaga Guru Dominates Like Tark and Case

A principal reason Jerry Tarkanian became a Hall of Famer was the fact he is the only coach in NCAA Division I history to win more than 90% of his assignments for a school in a single conference including both regular season and postseason league tourney (229-19 mark in PCAA/Big West with UNLV in 10-year span from 1982-83 through 1991-92).

Among active coaches, Gonzaga's Mark Few extended his stunning string of 16 consecutive NCAA playoff appearances in as many seasons with the Zags. But what is equally impressive is his domination of the West Coast Conference not only in regular-season competition (215-25) but also in league tournament action (33-4). Buttressed by a sterling frontcourt means Few won't fall much, if any, from list of league rulers in near future. Ditto winning percentage overall through 16 campaigns as Few (.810) ranks third at this juncture in his career behind legendary Clair Bee (.847) and Adolph Rupp (.814). How in the name of James Naismith has Few never been anointed national coach of the year?

John Calipari is the only coach to win in excess of 80% of his league assignments in two conferences with different schools. But if Few remains at his present success level, Calipari would need to tack on another 105 consecutive SEC triumphs via five additional unbeaten regular seasons and league tourney titles in succession with Kentucky to surpass Few in conference domination.

Brad Stevens won 80.8% of Butler's Horizon League games in five seasons but fell just short of meeting the minimum of 100 decisions in a single conference on the following list before subsequently moving on to the Atlantic 10 and NBA's Boston Celtics. Stevens aspires to have a better pro career than Tarkanian, who compiled a 9-11 record in a brief stint with the San Antonio Spurs at the start of the 1992-93 campaign. Few ranks third, also behind North Carolina State's Everett Case, among the following coaches who have won more than 75% of their games in a single conference including participation in league tourney play:

Coach School Conference Seasons Regular-Season League Tourney Overall Pct.
Jerry Tarkanian UNLV PCAA/Big West 1983-92 205-17 24-2 229-19 .923
Everett Case North Carolina State Southern 1947-53 87-11 20-1 107-12 .899
Mark Few Gonzaga West Coast 2000-15 215-25 33-4 248-29 .895
Adolph Rupp Kentucky SEC 1933-72 397-75 57-6 454-81 .849
Roy Williams Kansas Big 12 1997-2003 94-18 14-4 108-22 .831
Gregg Marshall Winthrop Big South 1999-2007 104-24 19-2 123-26 .826
Bill Self Kansas Big 12 2004-15 164-36 24-6 188-42 .817
John Calipari Memphis C-USA 2001-09 117-25 17-5 134-30 .817
John Calipari Kentucky SEC 2010-15 82-20 13-3 95-23 .805
Rick Majerus Utah Western Athletic 1991-99 118-30 15-6 133-36 .787
Eddie Sutton Arkansas Southwest 1975-85 139-35 13-7 152-42 .784
Bob Huggins Cincinnati C-USA 1996-2005 123-33 16-6 139-39 .781
Pete Gillen Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1986-94 83-25 17-4 100-29 .775
Vic Bubas Duke ACC 1960-69 106-32 22-6 128-38 .771
Stew Morrill Utah State Big West 1999-2005 91-28 13-3 104-31 .770
Charlie Spoonhour SW Missouri State Mid-Continent 1984-90 73-21 9-4 82-25 .766
Lute Olson Arizona Pacific-10 1984-2007 328-102 16-6 344-108 .761
Joe Williams Furman Southern 1971-78 67-25 18-3 85-28 .752
Denny Crum Louisville Metro 1977-95 173-59 33-9 206-68 .752

NOTES: Huggins (West Virginia), Marshall (Wichita State) and Williams (North Carolina) are active coaches currently employed by other schools. . . . UCLA's John Wooden won 81% of his games in the PCC/AAWU/Pacific-8 from 1949-75 but none of those contests included conference tournament competition.

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