Do you remember the 1950’s Western series, ‘The Rifleman’? We all remember Chuck Connors shooting that rifle like it was a six-shooter. Did you know that Chuck Connors played professional baseball and basketball?
Born Kevin Connors, Chuck started out with the NBA’s Boston Celtics in 1946 after military discharge, but later joined Major League Baseball in 1949. He played one game for the Brooklyn Dodgers and then a short while for the Chicago Cubs.
One interesting fact about Connors is that he was officially named the first player to break an NBA glass backboard! It was to be Boston’s first game in the NBA, and during warm-ups, Connors’ shot bounced off the rim causing the improperly installed backboard to shatter.
Connors did not excel in professional sports so he pursued an acting career which suited him just fine. After performing some movie parts, Connors won the role of ‘Lucas McCain’ in the Rifleman television series. The show went on to become a major league success and made Connors a big league hitter with a rifle!