Inducted February 12, 1987
The ability to excel in more than one sport identifies the outstanding natural athlete. Versatility stamped with quality was the trademark of Billy Cowan, who was a standout major college basketball player before making it to the majors in baseball. At East Bakersfield High and Bakersfield College, he was best-known for his basketball exploits, setting school scoring records, including a BC single-game high of 39 points (since surpassed). As a Renegade, he was also named Metropolitan Conference player-of-the-year. Then, at the University of Utah, he captained a team which finished fourth in the NCAA. He was also a standout for the Utes in baseball, leading the conference in hitting. Signed by the Cubs, he was named the Pacific Coast League's MVP and minor league player-of-the-year. He hit 19 homers for the Cubs in 1964 and also later played for the Mets, Braves, Phillies, Yankees and Angels.