Red Dirt Diaries: Big League Graduation At OU - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Red Dirt Diaries: Big League Graduation At OU

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Don Schwall, 82, will graduate this weekend in Norman. Don Schwall, 82, will graduate this weekend in Norman.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

This weekend the University of Oklahoma will celebrate its next graduating class. Among those at the ceremony will be a former Major League Baseball player who left school with unfinished business.

Don Schwall was recruited to play multiple sports at OU. But it was his strong right arm that earned him a $65,0000 contract from the Boston Red Sox before he graduated.

The Midwesterner made the All-Star game as a rookie.

“I was the first player who had not been on a major league roster at the beginning for the season,” said Schwall about the 1961 All-Star Game.

Schwall played Major League Baseball for six seasons on three teams.

“I came back in the fall for four years after each baseball season to finish my education and earn my degree,” added Schwall, who taught classes at Capitol Hill High School in OKC to get this degree.

Schwall moved to Pittsburgh after his education, but his diploma from OU never followed. He was told there was a mix-up and to check back on the status of diploma weeks later.

Schwall never called back.

He’d go on to raise a family and had a successful career in finance living in Pittsburgh.

This year, he turned at the age of 82 and started thinking about the unfinished business in Norman.

“I thought, ‘My God this is the one thing in my life I haven’t finished,’” said Schwall.

In February, Schwall called down to Norman again, 57 years after the fact. He was told his school record might not even exist anymore.

Two weeks later, a school representative called Schwall and said he was correct. The former ball player had indeed earned his degree.

The diploma now hangs at his house in western Pennsylvania.

This weekend, Schwall and his family will travel to Norman for graduation ceremonies.

His advice to his fellow grads: “Keep better records than I did.”

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