Feb 03, 1938: 2-sport star suspended
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sun, 02/03/2013 - 9:00am
Not So Fast
CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS - Future Baseball Hall of Famer, manager and broadcaster Lou Boudreau was a two-sport star at the University of Illinois - leading its baseball and basketball teams to Big Ten titles. But on this day in 1938 the college Junior got suspended from both Fighting Illini teams for taking money from a professional baseball team.
The Cleveland Indians ball club was sending Boudreau's mother monthly checks in exchange for the Harvey, Illinois native's word that he would give the Indians the right of first refusal when he graduated.
The suspension cost Boudreau six basketball games that season. The team won two and lost four without Boudreau, and finished with an uninspired 9-9 overall record, 4-8 in the Big Ten. They had won the Big Ten title the previous season with a record of 10-2 with Boudreau as the team's leading scorer.
Boudreau ended up not returning to the University of Illinois the fall of '38 because he signed a contract with Cleveland and started his professional baseball career. He played 13 seasons for the Indians, mostly at shortstop, including nine as player-manager. He guided the team to a World Series title in 1948, winning the American League's Most Valuable Player award.
Boudreau also played two years for the Boston Red Sox. Louis Boudreau was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.
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