Northwestern, like any other northern school, is generally not considered a “baseball factory”. The college baseball world is dominated by Sun Belt schools that offer beautiful weather to top recruits. Northwestern baseball players spend much of their season dealing with the grey skies, cold mud, and the unpredictable weather of the Midwest.
Despite these odds, over 20 former Wildcat players have made it to Major League Baseball. Their careers run the gamut, from a magical “One-Hit Wonder” to All-Stars and World Series Champions. One played for the worst team in modern history; one played alongside two of the biggest names in the history of (other) sports; and another was once traded for a future legend. Here is a brief look at Wildcat alums that have played in MLB. Each players debut season is listed in parentheses.
Bo Schultz (2014): Like most Major Leaguers, Schultz’s five-year minor league road to the majors took him through small towns ranging from Geneva, Illinois (home of the Kane County Cougars) to Reno, Nevada (home of Arizona’s AAA affiliate). However, unlike any rookie before him, his road led to Sydney, Australia. This year’s Opening Day game, played March 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, was part of MLB’s effort to expand baseball’s international popularity.
Schultz, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher, entered the game in the eighth and threw one scoreless inning, giving up a single hit. The Medill alum will likely serve as a middle reliever for the D-Backs, although he does have starting experience in the minors.
George Kontos (2011): Kontos, also a right-handed pitcher, made his Major League debut with the Yankees in September 2011. He appeared in seven games that year, pitching six innings and giving up two runs. After being traded to the Giants in April 2012, he spent the next two seasons in San Francisco, appearing in 96 games out of the bullpen. He contributed to the Giants 2012 World Championship, appearing in one World Series game that year.