Washington State baseball and basketball standout Gene Conley x’50, the only professional athlete to win both a World Series and NBA championship, died July 4, 2017. He was 86.
Conley was a pitcher with the Milwaukee Braves when the team won the World Series in 1957 and he helped the Boston Celtics to three NBA titles from 1959 to 1961. He played against sports legends such as Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Wilt Chamberlain during an 18-year dual-sport career that also included four All-Star appearances.
At Washington State, where he anchored both the baseball and basketball teams for two seasons before going … » More …
Between the bookMoneyball and the movie “Moneyball,” there was the 2010 Simpsonsepisode “MoneyBART,” which introduced 6 million or so people to the artist Banksy, who wrote the opening sequence. Less celebrated is the fact that the show introduced many people to the concept of sabermetrics.
A viewer’s guide to the episode can go a long way in explaining some of the fundamental notions of baseball’s most exuberantly rational side.
“When I made up the lineup, I always put Ole [John Olerud] in the third spot—where you want your best all-around player—and filled in around him,” says WSU baseball coach Bobo Brayton. “He led the world in everything.”
On the rare occasion when Ole faltered a little on the mound, Bobo would visit the big lefthander with words of advice: “Remember you are John Olerud. There’s no one better.” He was named national College Player of the Year in 1988.
John Olerud was not enamored with New York City during his playing days with the Toronto Blue Jays. “Every time we went there and played I was so intimidated by the city,” he recalls. “I just thought, man, it was just a matter of time before I get mugged on the streets.”
So imagine Olerud’s thoughts when he learned he was traded to the New York Mets in 1997.
“Sure enough I get traded to them and my wife (Kelly) says, ‘Let’s just try living in the city and see what it’s like.’