This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.
This “Famous For Something Else” is notable because the player in question has a chance of maybe one day becoming best known for baseball. It’s Eddy Alvarez, a middle-infielder in the White Sox organization who won a silver medal in the 5000 meter relay in short track speed skating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He’s hit very well, but the fact he’s two to four years older than most people in the leagues he is in probably hurts his chances. Still, you never know.
This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.
A College Football analyst and radio co-host on ESPN who had started at QB for Florida State and who played in the NFL and Arena Football League (usually as a back-up), Danny Kanell was drafted in the 24th round of the 1995 Draft by the Yankees. While he would go on to choose football, he later would have a brief stint in independent ball in 2001 for Newark of the Atlantic League:
Kanell remains somewhat involved with baseball at ESPN, occasionally commenting on games during his appearances and sometimes even serving as a color commentator for college baseball games on the networks of ESPN.
Due to other stories I’m working on, there will be no BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE this weekend. Apologies. Instead, here’s a Famous For Something Else that I’ve been meaning to put up.
Bill Murray, member of the early days of SNL, star of Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Lost In Translation and all-around cool guy, was, ever so briefly, a professional baseball player. He played for the independent Northwest League Grays Harbor Loggers in 1978 in-between SNL gigs, partly for a “what I did over summer vacation” segment for the show. The crazy tale is recounted here in a Oral History put together by Rob Neyer. And here are the stats of the player who Baseball Reference has recorded as “William Murray“:
David Guthrie is a referee in the National Basketball Association. But before he was a ref on the hardwood, he played hardball in the Reds organization. Drafted in the 26th round of the 1995 draft out of NC State, Guthrie played infield positions from 1995 to 1998. Although he never hit well, he did reach AA by the end of his career:
Today, Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes will play in the Sugar Bowl in an attempt to reach the College Football Playoff Championship Game. So, here’s a repost of his famous for something else post.
Did you know that Urban Meyer, head coach of Ohio State’s football team and former coach of the Florida Gators, had a brief minor league career? It’s true! He played two seasons in the low minors in the Braves organization.
Now, as you can see, he didn’t do very good, but, according to a recent episode of Real Sports, it was a defining moment for him. Frustrated by his struggles, he told his father he was going to quit and come home, enraging his father, who told him that he would have no losers in his family. This would fuel a long obsession with winning that would define his career for years and ended up forcing his family to have him sign a contract to make sure he didn’t essentially abandon them for coaching.
One interesting thing to note, by the way, is that Urban Meyer played alongside Ron Gant and Mark Lemke during his 1983 stint in the Gulf Coast League.
Herman Wedemeyer was a All-American football player at St. Mary’s College and would later go on to be elected to College Football’s Hall of Fame. He also played two years of professional football and was a politician in his native Hawaii- where he also dabbled in acting, appearing as “Duke” Lukela in 143 episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O.
However, he also had a brief baseball career, playing in 15 games in 1950 for Sal Lake City in the Pioneer League, where he played alongside future MLB player Mike Baxes and also Wally Yonamine, who would be the first American to play in Japan after WWII.
It’s time for another “Famous for Something Else”.
Today’s individual who is far more famous for something else is Reece “Goose” Tatum. Tatum was the original “Clown Prince” of the Harlem Globetrotters, one of the finest basketball players of his era (back during a time when the Globetrotters would play and often beat actual NBA teams), and said to be the inventor of the hook shot/skyhook that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would later make famous.
But before his basketball career really took off, Goose played some baseball in the Negro Leagues. While his stats are a bit spotty due to the less-than-excellent record-keeping of the day, here they are: