Chuck Connors of the tv show The Rifleman fame — was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and was a terrific 6’5″ athlete who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs — AND the Boston Celtics — where he became the first NBA player to shatter a backboard (although not on a slam dunk exactly). He was also drafted by the Chicago Bears of the NFL. He was Dave Winfield before there was Dave Winfield — although obviously Connors did not have the success at a major league level that Winfield had.
While in the Army in 1945, he moonlighted by playing basketball with the Rochester Royals (who are now the Sacramento Kings) and led them to the 1946 National Basketball League championship, a precursor league to the NBA.
He then tried his hand at baseball, with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1951 (along with numerous minor league teams) at the ages of 28 to 30 years old:
Like Winfield (6’6) and Judge (6’7), Chuck Connors (6’5) was a big man with a big stroke. But he only hit 2 homeruns in 201 career at bats making him, disappointingly, a singles hitter, although his .239 lifetime batting average is WAY higher than Aaron Judge‘s .179 in 84 at bats thus far. Connors only struck out 25 times in those 201 at bats — a contact hitter.
Hoping that Aaron Judge can hit .280 or more, but if he hit .239 this year I think the Yankees might take it. To go with an anticipated 30 or 40 homers in regular at bats, and some excellent defense with strong arm in right field.
|The big strokes of big men Aaron Judge (6’7″) and Dave Winfield (6’6″)|