There are two men in sports history who have competed in both an MLB World Series and an NCAA Basketball Final Four – and both of them played for the Cleveland Indians at some point during their baseball careers.
As the backup point guard for the 1988 Arizona Wildcats, Kenny Lofton was on a star-studded roster that lost to Oklahoma in the semifinal game. That season, Lofton shot 42 percent from the 3-point line and averaged nearly five points per game. Lofton played alongside five-time NBA champion Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott, who was drafted No. 3 overall in the 1989 NBA Draft, on some of the most exciting teams in Arizona basketball history.
And he was also part of this entertainment gold:
Lofton made his first World Series appearance with the Tribe in 1995, as Cleveland won its first AL pennant since 1954. The speedy centerfielder hit .310 that season, stealing 54 bases in just 118 games. He played an integral role in the Indians’ playoff run, hitting .290 with 18 hits and 11 stolen bases that postseason.
The other player to appear in a World Series and Final Four is Tim Stoddard, whose 1974 NC State Wolfpack defeated Marquette to win the National Championship. Although he did not pitch in the postseason, Stoddard was in the bullpen for the 1983 World Series champions Orioles, making him the only player in history to have won an NCAA Championship and World Series. Stoddard ended his career in Cleveland, pitching seven games for the Tribe and posting a 2.95 ERA in 21.1 innings.