In his first summers as a White Sox minor league pitcher, DeBusschere was impressive,
posting a 10-1 record with Savannah (Sally League) in 1962. In the winters, the 6'6"
Detroit native won fame as a dominating forward for the NBA's Detroit Pistons. The
White Sox, who had given him a $75,000 signing bonus, were encouraged when he threw
a ML shutout in 1963, but the Pistons upped the ante by naming him player-coach,
at age 24 the youngest coach in NBA history. DeBusschere gave up baseball, going
on to a Hall of Fame basketball career (1963-72). Disciplined, unselfish, and dedicated
to defense, he was considered the ultimate team player, and was a catalyst on two
New York Knicks World Championship teams. He wore number 22 during his entire pro
career. He served one year as GM of the American Basketball Association Nets before
becoming the ABA's commissioner. He later returned to the Knicks for a term as their
GM. He was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1982.
»April 27, 1963: Pro basketballers Gene Conley of the Celtics and Dave DeBusschere of the Knicks oppose each other as Red Sox and White Sox pitchers. Conley hurls 4-plus innings for Boston, while DeBusschere relieves for two-thirds of the 4th inning for Chicago. Boston wins the tip-off at Fenway 9–5.