Arguably no sport at Arizona State has produced better professional athletes than baseball, and our countdown continues today with the first of 15 Sun Devils to have spent time on the diamond while donning the maroon and gold.
After growing up in Phoenix and attending Camelback High School, the plan was simple for Gary Gentry. The right-hander would attend nearby Phoenix College for two years before transferring to local power Arizona State, therefore maximizing the amount of possible playing time across all three years of his collegiate career.
Gentry dominated at both stops, winning national championships with both the Bears and Sun Devils. He recorded a dominating 17-1 record in his only season in Tempe, most notably going the distance in his team's 14-inning victory over Stanford to clinch a spot in the CWS championship game.
The Phoenix product's winning ways continued soon after leaving the desert. Two of his minor league clubs - the Williamsport Mets and Jacksonville Suns - won league titles while Gentry was there. He then got the call to the majors in 1969, promptly winning a World Series in his rookie year with the New York Mets.
Gentry was called upon to start game three of that World Series, and he delivered big-time by tossing six shutout innings. His heroics paved the way to a 5-0 win, one that broke a tie in a series that New York would go on to win.
Gentry played four seasons with the Mets before finishing his career with three solid years for the Atlanta Braves. He left the MLB with 615 strikeouts to go along with a 3.56 ERA.
The righty may just be the first baseball player unveiled in this countdown, but no other Sun Devil will surpass Gentry as far as championships go.
Check back tomorrow to see who will be No. 44 on our list of the 50 best professional athletes to come out of Arizona State.