Gail Hopkins

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1971 Topps #269 Gail Hopkins

Gail Eason Hopkins

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Biographical Information[edit]

Gail Hopkins may be the only ballplayer to earn both an M.D. and a PhD. He played seven seasons in the major leagues, but was an orthopedic surgeon for much longer than that.

He grew up in Long Beach, CA and received bachelor's and master's degrees from George Pepperdine College and was the first player from Pepperdine to make the majors. Signed by the Chicago White Sox, he broke in as a first baseman with them in 1968, while the White Sox were rebuilding after having been a good team for most of the 1960s.

He was the regular first baseman in 1969, hitting .265 with 8 home runs and getting lots of walks. It was the second dead-ball era: the American League as a whole hit .246 that year, so he was well above average.

In 1970, he had his highest major league batting average, hitting .286 with 6 home runs. Shortly after the season ended, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals. In 1971, he hit .278 with 9 home runs for them, as the Royals finished in 2nd place. His teammates included Lou Piniella, Amos Otis, Freddie Patek, and Dick Drago, who won 17 games.

The following year, [1972 Royals|1972]], the Royals acquired young John Mayberry from the Houston Astros, and Hopkins lost his job. As a back-up, he hit .211 in 53 games. In 1973, Mayberry had another good year, and Hopkins hit .246 in 73 games.

Released by the Royals shortly before the 1974 season began, Hopkins was playing for the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League when he was brought to the majors by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 14 games, he hit .222. He did not play in the 1974 World Series.

Finished with major league ball, he took a break from medical school and went to Japan in 1975 at the invitation of Joe Lutz and hit .256/.315/.500 with 33 homers. He brought the Hiroshima Carp their first pennant, hitting a key home run on October 15th. He hit .333/.448/.417 in the 1975 Japan Series. In 19786, Gail hit .329/.428/.518, finishing fourth in the Central League in batting average and making his only CL All-Star team. He finished his baseball career with a 1977 campaign of .266/.325/.428.

Outside of baseball, Hopkins received a Ph.D. in biology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the M.D. from Rush Medical School in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Gail Hopkins practiced medicine in Lodi, CA and in Hinsdale, IL. He has one son and one daughter, and both are doctors. In 2004, he was named Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ohio Valley University. That same year, Dr. Hopkins relocated to Parkersburg, West Virginia, and retired from active medical practice, but three years later, he came out of retirement and reopened his medical practice with his daughter, Dr. Leah Hopkins. Dr. Hopkins remains Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ohio Valley University.

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