Out to the Ballgame, Wildcat Style: Davidson & MLB Trivia
Baseball fans all over the world will celebrate Major League Baseball (MLB) Opening Day April 3. In honor of the occasion, and in recognition of baseball coach Dick Cooke's 500th win, we've pulled together some Wildcat/MLB baseball trivia for your reading pleasure.
Billy Ryan '02, current director of baseball operations for the Atlanta Braves since 2014, was a catcher for the Wildcats. As a Wildcat, Ryan boasted a .342 batting average, earned MVP honors and was on the All-Southern Conference team his junior year. He majored in psychology while at Davidson. Not long after graduation, he became involved with the MLB. He has held positions in scouting for the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians, salary and contract coordination for the commissioner of baseball office, issue resolution within the MLB Players Association, and as assistant general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
John Odell '83 has been the curator of history and research for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum since 1999. He majored in history at Davidson and earned his master's degree in museum studies from George Washington University. Odell recently curated Whole New Ballgame, an exhibit that debuted in November 2015. The exhibit examines baseball from 1970 to today, looking at the history of the sport from the field, the stands and behind the scenes.
Gus Quattlebaum '97 is the director of professional scouting for the Boston Red Sox. Prior to this promotion, Quattlebaum was the director of international recruiting for the team. As a baseball player for the Wildcats, Quattlebaum was an outfielder, two-time All-Southern Conference team member, and ranked second all-time at Davidson in home runs (35) and walks (121). After graduating from Davidson, he was a player development intern for the Montreal Expos in 1998, a scout for the New York Yankees (1999-2003) and Baltimore Orioles (2004-06) and joined the Red Sox organization in 2006.
Fourteen Davidson alumni/attendees have been drafted by and played for MLB teams. Of the 14 players, seven were pitchers. Robert Eenhoorn is the only foreign-born player from Davidson to play professionally in the MLB. Eenhoorn made his debut with the New York Yankees in 1994. He played as a second baseman and shortstop. While playing for Anaheim in 1997, he became the first Dutch-born player to hit a home run in a major league game since 1912.
Bill "Willy" Fetzer played collegiately for Davidson from 1905 to 1906. In 1906, he had his major league debut and would subsequently play in the minor leagues until 1910. He returned to Davidson in 1915 to coach baseball, football and basketball.
Pat Crawford, a former Davidson Wildcat, was a member of the 1934 World Series St. Louis Cardinals. Crawford had his major league debut in 1929 at the age of 27 for the New York Giants (franchise moved to San Francisco in 1957); he played in the MLB for five years, finishing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1934.
First MLB-drafted player to attend Davidson after the draft: Jake Sidwell '17. He was drafted from Olympia High School by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 39th round of the 2013 MLB entry draft. Sidwell, a junior, is a catcher for the Wildcats.
Twenty-seven Davidson alumni/attendees have played in the minor leagues.
The average height of all Davidson players who have played in either the minor or major leagues (1903 to present) is about 73 inches (6'1"). These players range in height from 6'7" to 5'7". The average height of MLB players today is around 73.7 inches (nearly 6'2").