We're playing the role of the house band to Steve Politi's list of the 50 best athletes in Rutgers' history. Ranking those 50 just adds to the impossibility of the task. That's why we're leaving that to the professionals.
Yesterday we threw out a list of Olympic sport athletes along with a list of basketball players. Today, we look at the rest of the Olympic sports in this post, and we'll follow up later with the finale, football.
So, let's kick off the remaining Olympic sports on the diamond.
Bobby Brownlie - Baseball
A consensus All-American during his career at Rutgers from 2000-02, Brownlie was one of the top pitchers to ever wear a Scarlet Knight uniform. He owned the school record for career strikeouts (235), career shutouts (7), single-season wins (10 in 2000), single-season complete games (8 in 2000) and single-season shutouts (4 in 2000). Brownlie finished his RU career ranked second in career complete games (20) and third in career wins (22), single-season starts (15 in 2000), single-season innings pitched (102.1 in 2000) and career innings pitched (265.1). In Brownlie's three years at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights posted a 116-57-1 record, advancing to the NCAA Championships twice and capturing the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles in 2000. After being selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 26th round of the 1999 draft, Brownlie opted for Rutgers and earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and Third Team All-America honors after posting a 10-1 record as a freshman in 2000. As the team's top starter, Brownlie was the MVP of the 2000 , hurling a nine-inning shutout to propel Rutgers to a 1-0 win over Seton Hall in the championship game. He posted a perfect 7-0 mark in BIG EAST play as a freshman en route to All-American accolades by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball. Brownlie fired eight complete games and recorded an earned run average of 2.55 during his first season "On the Banks" ' the fourth-lowest among all freshmen in the nation. He was on the mound when Rutgers clinched the 2000 BIG EAST Regular season title. Prior to the 2002 season, Brownlie was featured on the cover of the Baseball America's college preview issue and named the Louisville Slugger Preseason Player of the Year. Brownlie was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 21st overall pick of the 2002 Major League and decided to forego his final season of eligibility to begin his professional career.
Darren Fenster - Baseball
Fenster was a two-time All-American shortstop for the Scarlet Knights who went on to play six years in the Kansas City Royals' organization. The program's all-time leader in several offensive categories, including career hits (315), single-season hits (101) and career doubles (65), Fenster was a four-year starter (1997-2000). A 2000 graduate, he re-joined the baseball program as Director of Operations in 2006. He has been part of three BIG EAST Conference Regular Season and Tournament championships, winning the 1998 and 2000 titles as a player and achieving the feat again in 2007 as a member of the staff. Fenster has also been a part of four appearances, including three as a player. As a senior in 2000, Fenster was a consensus First Team All-American, hitting .433. That year, Rutgers posted its first-ever 40-win season and was ranked as high as No. 14 nationally. The 2000 BIG EAST Player of the Year, NCBWA District II Player of the Year, and captain and MVP of a team that featured three future Major Leaguers and a first round draft choice, Fenster was also a finalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate player. He was also a three-time All-BIG EAST selection.
Glen Gardner - Baseball
Gardner, one of the most prolific hitters in Rutgers baseball history, (1986-88), which saw him earn two All-America awards as well as collect a host of offensive records. Following his freshman season, Gardner was named Freshman All-America by Baseball America. He was drafted after his sophomore season by the San Diego Padres in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur draft. He chose to stay at Rutgers for his junior season and that year set nine single-season offensive records and earned All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. He was a three-time Atlantic 10 choice and a three-time New Jersey Association honoree. Following his junior season, Gardner was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and he began a professional career in that organization. Gardner ended his career as the Rutgers all-time leader in six offensive categories and ranked in the top 10 in four others.
Pete Hall - Baseball
Pete Hall is one of only two Scarlet Knights to twice earn All-American honors (1961 and 1962) in baseball. During his three-letterwinning years (1960-62), the Scarlet Knights were 40-14-1. The former third baseman holds fifth place on the career batting average chart (.384) and second place on the career slugging average chart (.612) in the Scarlet Knight record book. Hall was a 1961-draft pick of the New York Yankees. Hall was the Upstream Award winner in 1962. In 1961, he led the team in hitting (.397), runs (21), hits (31), RBI (30) and made just five errors in starting every game.
Harding Peterson - Baseball
Peterson, the backstop for the 1950 Rutgers team, was a Second Team All-America selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association and a First Team District II choice that year as well. Peterson made just two errors in 27 games in 1950 while hitting .276 (27-98), with 21 runs, 23 RBI (2nd on team), 4 doubles and 2 triples. His best season as a collegian was in 1948, when he hit for a .312 average (10-32) in 1948 with 7 RBI and three doubles. In his three varsity seasons, Peterson led his teams to a combined 57-16-2 record, highlighted by a third-place finish in the 1950 College . Following his career at Rutgers, Peterson signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1950 but had his career interrupted by Korean War service. Following the war, Peterson spent over 30 years with the Pirates, including stints as a player (4 years), manager (9 years), farm director and scouting director.
Jeff Torborg - Baseball Torborg was a 1963 All-American and set the school record for season batting average (.540) that year. His slugging percentage that year (1.032) is also a single-season standard. In 1963, he led the team with 21 RBI and six home runs. A draft choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers he played 10 seasons in the majors, seven with the Dodgers and three with the California Angels. In his three-year career from 1961-63, Torborg batted .390, which still ranks third in Rutgers baseball annals. His number (#10) was retired in 1992. Playing in the Northeast when shorter seasons were common, he still holds the career slugging percentage mark of .684. During his career the Knights were 15-4-1, 14-4 and 11-5 for a three-year mark of 40-13-1 (.741 winning percentage).
Raymond E. Van Cleef, Jr. - Baseball
Van Cleef was a two-time All-American in baseball, garnering first team accolades from the American Association of College Baseball Coaches in 1950 and 1951. In the process, he became the first Eastern player to repeat as an All-American. A veteran of two NCAA Tournaments, he was the starting centerfielder on the 1950 Rutgers team, which advanced to the College World Series. He batted .458 (11-24) in the series en route to MVP honors, while leading the Knights to a co-runner-up finish. Van Cleef batted .404 that season, his junior year, and followed it up with a .378 mark in 1951. He currently ranks fourth in career batting average at Rutgers. He set the Rutgers single season record for triples with seven in 1950 and stands third in career with 13. Van Cleef is also fifth in career slugging percentage with a .606 mark. The Knights were 50-21-2 his three varsity years. He also won three letters in basketball and one in soccer.
Darrin Winston - Baseball
Darrin Winston was a four-year letterwinner at Rutgers from 1985-88, and concluded his collegiate career as one of Rutgers' all-time winningest pitchers. A left-hander, Winston was a three-time team MVP, and led the Scarlet Knights to two berths in the NCAA Tournament as well as the 1988 Atlantic 10 Championship. He was an All-Region selection in 1988 after posting a 10-4 record with a 3.74 ERA, and was the MVP of the Atlantic 10 Tournament that year. Winston was at one point the Rutgers leader in several statistical categories, including career wins (26), career innings pitched (278), career strikeouts (176), career complete games (8) and single-season wins (10). Winston was drafted by the Montreal Expos and later pitched in the major leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Eric Young - Baseball
Eric Young was a two-sport standout (football, baseball) at Rutgers, earning three letters in baseball (1987-89). Young batted over .300 in each of his three seasons, including a career high .337 as a senior in 1989. During his career on the diamond, Young was a two-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection and led Rutgers to an Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA berth in 1988. Young graduated from Rutgers as the career leader in runs, and triples, as well as stolen bases, also establishing a then single-season mark with 28 thefts in 1989. At the conclusion of his Rutgers career, Young was the recipient of the Coursen Award in 1989 and was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1989 amateur draft.
Pete Zoccolillo - Baseball
When Pete Zoccolillo left Rutgers in 1999, he held 10 career and single-season records, including career hits, RBI, home runs and total bases. A four-year starter, he earned All-BIG EAST honors each year and was a two-time All-American, leading Rutgers to the 1998 BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berths in 1998 and 1999. As a senior in 1999, he set the school and BIG EAST single-season record with 72 RBI, while hitting .418. Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1999, he made his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003 and was a AAA All-Star in 2004 as a member of the Oklahoma City Red Hawks.
Carla Camino - Softball
Camino was the 1993 Headley-Singer Award winner as the university's top female student-athlete, culminating a career that included three, Atlantic-10 All-conference selections and a 1993 All-America selection, when she finished fourth in the nation in hitting with a .487 average and was ranked among the top ten nationally in doubles. At the conclusion of her career, Camino was first at Rutgers in career batting average, hits, singles, doubles, triples, RBI and stolen bases, as well as the single-season leader in average, hits, singles, doubles and stolen bases. Camino, who led Rutgers to four A appearances from 1990-1993, was also named the 1993 Northeast second team shortstop and led the team in RBI in 1992 and 1993.
Alexis Jemal - Women's Fencing
One of the most decorated fencers in Rutgers history, Jemal captured the 2003 individual national championship in saber in Colorado Springs as a senior. She was a three-time All-American and a member of the U.S. National Team. Jemal was named New Jersey's "NCAA Woman of the Year" in 2003. A team captain, Jemal finished her senior season 33-2 and ranked as the No. 5 fencer in the nation. She finished 10th at the 2002 NCAA Fencing Championships her junior season. Her success in competition was equaled in the classroom as she achieved a 4.0 grade point average her senior year. She was the 2003 recipient of the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ) Division I Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as a First Team Verizon Academic All-America University Division At-Large selection.
Steve Mormando - Men's Fencing Mormando is nationally and internationally-recognized as a world-class fencer. At Rutgers, he was a two-time Konicoff Trophy winner as the team's Most Improved Fencer in 1978 and 1979. He qualified for the 1979 NCAAs and placed 12th. Also a four-time qualifier for the U.S. World Championships squad, Mormando, a native of Toms River, N.J., was twice a member of the U.S. World University Games teams. An honored veteran of the U.S. Olympic Festival, his ledger includes four gold, four silver and two bronze medals in seven appearances in this prestigious event. He was also a three-time Olympian (1984, 1988, 1992) in the sabre.
Alex "Al" Treves - Men's Fencing
A two-time All-American at Rutgers, Al Treves earned national acclaim during the 1949 and 1950 seasons as a member of the fencing team. Treves won the NCAA Champion in the sabre both years, establishing himself as one of the top collegiate fencers in the country. A three-year letter winner (1947, 1949, 1950), Treves was undefeated in his three years of collegiate competition and later earned a spot on the 1951 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team.
George Kojak - Men's Swimming
George Kojak was perhaps the pioneer record-setter for Rutgers swimming and never lost a race in a dual meet in his college career. Primarily a freestyle and backstroker, he was the National Collegiate 100-yard freestyle champion in 1931, he established nine school records in the 1928-29 season. In 1930, he broke four of those same records. He was the Intercollegiate Swimming Association 100 and 200-yard freestyle champion in 1931. Kojak was the world and intercollegiate record holder in the 440-yard freestyle, 440-yard relay, and the 300-yard medley relay. Kojak served as team captain in 1929-31 when Rutgers was 24-5 in dual meets.
Norman "Norm" Kramer - Men's Swimming
Norm Kramer was one of the most successful swimmers in Rutgers history and one of the earliest national champions for the Scarlet Knights. In 1931, Kramer earned two first-place finishes at the NCAA Championships, winning both the 400-yard relay (3:39.4) and the 300-yard medley relay (3:09.4) while taking second in the preliminaries of the 100-yard freestyle. In 1933, Kramer returned to NCAA Championship competition and once again took first in the 400-yard relay, registering an identical 3:39.04 time. He also advanced to the semifinals in the 100-yard freestyle, placing him among the top 20 in the country in that event. Kramer also recorded three first-place finishes at the Eastern Collegiate Swimming Association (ECSA) Championships in 1932, winning the 100-yard freestyle, the 200-yard relay and the 300-yard relay. He repeated that performance in 1933 as well, sweeping all three events.
Judy Melick - Women's Swimming
Melick was the first woman at Rutgers to swim in NCAA competition with the men's varsity before the start of the women's program. An All-American in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1975, she was a finalist in the 100 breaststroke at the Munich Olympics in 1972. She was the initial recipient of the Rutgers Outstanding Senior Female Athlete (Headley-Singer) Award in 1976. A semifinalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, she won letters in the first two years of the existence of the women's swimming program. In 1975 and 1976, the Lady Knights were 20-0 in regular season meets and were the champions of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women championships in 1976. Melick, the first women to serve as a captain of Lady Knight's swimming (1976), placed second at the IAIAW meet in the 100 breaststroke and as a member of the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Robert Nugent - Men's Swimming
Nugent was a three-time All-American, and AAU National Champion and two-time All-East performer. In the 1948-49 season, Nugent won the AAU National Freestyle 100 yard Championship in the outdoor event, and placed fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in the NCAA Championships, which earned him All-America honors. He set the ECAC record in the 50-yard and was an All-East performer in the 50-and 100-yard at the ECAC Championships. In the 1950-51 season, Nugent placed second in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships, earning All-America status; he also won the ECAC Championships in the 50-yd. and 100-yd. with record-setting performances to earn All-East honors. In the 1951-52 season, Nugent earned All-America honors in two events by placing third in the 100-yd. free and fourth in the 50-yd. free. Nugent, the team captain in 1952, also won the 50-yd. and 100 yd. freestyle, and the 100-yd. back at the ECAC Championship.
Fred Borchelt - Rowing
Borchelt was a member of the Varsity Eight men's heavyweight crew from 1974-1976. While at Rutgers, Borchelt placed 6th at the 1976 Eastern Sprints and 5th at the 1976 IRA Regatta. He also was a recipient of the ECAC Merit Medal for excellence in academics and athletics in 1976. A member of three United States Olympic Teams, he won a silver medal in the eight-oared crew at the 1984 Summer Games at Los Angeles. His crew also set a world record that same year. He also placed 11th at the 1976 Olympic Games at Montreal and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team. He was named Outstanding Male Rower by the U. S. Olympic Committee in 1981 and 1982.
Charles "Chuck" P. Logg, Jr. - Rowing
Logg is a member of the only U.S. pairs without coxswain crew to win an Olympic gold medal. Logg, the son of Rutgers crew coach, was a senior when he was paired with Tom Price, a Scarlet freshman, in the 1952 Olympic trials. Considered the best oarsmen at Rutgers, Logg and Price surprised the American rowing scene by winning the trials. Their dream performance was capped by an Olympic gold medal in Helsinki. While Logg and his partner, Price, were outstanding collegiate rowers, their pinnacle achievement was worldwide recognition at the Olympics. While "On the Banks", Logg was the 1953 winner of the Rutgers Rowing Trophy.
Tom Price - Rowing
Price was part of Rutgers' precedent-setting pairs without coxswain crew at the 1952 Olympics. Teamed with fellow Scarlet oarsman Chuck Logg, the college freshman and his partner shocked the rowing world with victories in the American Olympic Trails and the Games in Helsinki. Generally considered the two best oarsmen of their time at Rutgers, their accomplishment is still singular among all pairs without coxswain in U.S. rowing annals. They were the first Olympic medal winners in Rutgers crew history.
Maite Urtasun - Women's Rowing
Maite Urtasun was a two-time Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-American in 1999 and 2001 and helped the Rutgers women's rowing team to two NCAA appearances. As a freshman, Urtasun rowed in the 1997 NCAA Rowing Championships in the second varsity eight that finished fourth. During her senior year in 2001, she helped the varsity eight go 11-4, which included winning the Raritan Cup by ten seconds over Cornell and UPenn. At the BIG EAST Championships, Urtasun's boat finished second in the varsity eight while at the Eastern Sprints, she led Rutgers to a win in the petite finals, which earned the Scarlet Knights a spot in the NCAA Rowing Championships. At the NCAA's, Urtasun and her teammates finished in 14th. Urtasun, who made six consecutive National Teams from 1999 to 2004, won the 2002 World Championships as a member of the U.S. Women's Eight and was a member of the 2004 bronze medal- winning Olympic team in Athens, Greece. Additionally, she won a bronze medal in the straight four at the 1999 World Championships.
Special Cases - Multiple Sports
Christine Lacy - Women's Field Hockey/Lacrosse
Lacy was a two-sport standout during her Rutgers career, starring in both field hockey and women's lacrosse. Lacy was bestowed one of the highest honors in Rutgers Athletics when she received the Headley-Singer Award in 1986, awarded annually to the outstanding female student-athlete. Lacy was primarily a defender, excelling as a four-year starter in both field hockey and women's lacrosse from 1982-1986. A 1985 Honorable Mention All-American, Lacy also guided the Scarlet Knights to the Final Eight in the 1984 NCAA Tournament. She was a two-time scholar-athlete and captained the field hockey squad her senior season.
Ralph Schmidt - Wrestling, Football, Men's Lacrosse, Men's Track & Field, Men's Basketball
Ralph Schmidt was a rare five-sport letterwinner. He earned two football letters, two lacrosse letters, two track and field letters, one basketball letter, and one wrestling letter for a total of six varsity letter awards. In 1942, he was the Coursen Award winner. He was awarded honorable mention All Eastern as a wrestler, and was a lacrosse first-team All-American. As a senior, he was a co-captain of the football team and was the undefeated Middle Atlantic College Champion as a wrestler. Schmidt was also a National YMCA wrestling champion. As a wrestler he won international honors. At the 1951 Pan Am Games, he won the silver medal. He also placed fourth at the 1948 & 1952 Olympic Trials.
And out of alphabetical order for obvious reasons.....
Paul L. Robeson - Football, Baseball, Track, Basketball A 12-time letter winner at Rutgers (though I found a site that listed 15), Robeson was chosen an All-American in 1918 by Walter Camp, who called him the greatest end to "ever trod the gridiron." His squads were 7-1 in 1915 and 7-1-1 in 1917 and the Scarlet Knights outscored opponents by an average of 44-3 in 1915 and 33-2 in 1917. The second-highest ranking student in his graduating class, he was the first Rutgers player chosen a first-team All-American. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.