This is a busy weekend in sports with the Final Four and the opening of baseball. We will borrow an element from each to showcase the best MLB talent from the four schools basking in the hardwood spotlight.
Padres pitcher Pat Neshek holds several Butler school records, including most strikeouts in a game (18 v. Detroit in 2001). Known for his sidearm delivery, Neshek had been pitching for the Twins until earlier this month when San Diego picked him up. Honorable mention: Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Dan Johnson played his freshman season for the Bulldogs before transferring and becoming an All-American at Nebraska.
Walt Dropo, the 1950 American League rookie of the year, played 12 years in the majors for five teams. He was also a star basketball player. He was a first-round pick of Providence in the BAA, the original name of the NBA, and was UConn's all-time leading scorer at the time he finished school. Honorable mention: Roberto Hernandez, who had seven MLB seasons of 30-plus saves, was a catcher at UConn before transferring to South Carolina. Charles Nagy was a three-time All-Star with 129 career wins.
Brandon Webb is a three-time All-Star who won the 2006 National League Cy Young award. He went 22-7 in 2008 but a bad shoulder limited him to one game in the next two seasons. He signed with the Rangers in December but hasn't been cleared to pitch in games yet. Honorable mention: Jim Leyritz hit a three-run homer that was the turning point of the 1996 World Series for the Yankees against Atlanta. Joe Blanton hit a home run and was also the winning pitcher for the Phillies in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series.
Brandon Inge has spent entire MLB career with the Tigers, starting in 2001. He has played third base, catcher and outfield for Detroit after being a shortstop and pitcher at VCU. "I love the way they do things over there," Inge told the Detroit Free Press of his alma mater. "Their athletic department, it really is tremendous. I’m proud to see them doing well. I don’t have anything to do with it besides I’m just proud of them doing well."