Looking for Diamonds on the Gridiron

tombrady.jpg

A left-handed hitting catcher with power when he came out of Serra High School in 1995, Tom Brady was selected in the 18th round of the baseball draft by the Expos, who waited until later in the draft to select him because he was so highly-regarded in football. Their true interest was underscored by the fact he was offered a signing bonus that has been described as being "late second-round money."

Football, however, had its pull, and Brady opted to be a quarterback at Michigan. Baseball became a part of his past. Even when he slipped in the 2000 NFL draft to the Patriots in the sixth round Brady never lost his desire to prove himself on a football field. Baseball's loss is football's gain.

On Sunday, Brady will be taking the snaps for the Patriots against the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Looking to become the only player in NFL history to be a part of six Super Bowl champions. He and former defensive lineman Charles Haley have both been a part of five Super Bowl champions, but Brady does have the distinction of winning all five with the Patriots.

Brady's resume includes leading the Patriots to 15 division titles.

WHILE BRADY passed on baseball, others have given both sports a look at the professional level, including John Elway, who was drafted and signed by the Yankees when he came out of Stanford, and used that option as leverage to force the Colts, who drafted him No. 1, to trade him to the Broncos.

There have been 64 players who have appeared in a game at the NFL and MLB level, but only seven of them since 1970: Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan, Drew Henson, Chad Hutchinson, D.J. Dozier, and Matt Kinzer.

bojackson.jpg

Jackson spent eight years in MLB with the Royals, White Sox and Angels, and four seasons in the NFL with the Raiders. He was the first player to be an All-Star in both leagues. His athletic career ended because of a hip injury suffered playing football.

Year

Team

Lg

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

1986

KC

AL

 25

 82

 9

 17

 2

 1

 2

 9

 7

 34

 3

 1

 .207

 .286

 .329

 .615

1987

KC

AL

 116

 396

 46

 93

 17

 2

 22

 53

 30

 158

 10

 4

 .235

 .296

 .455

 .750

1988

KC

AL

 124

 439

 63

 108

 16

 4

 25

 68

 25

 146

 27

 6

 .246

 .287

 .472

 .758

1989

KC

AL

 135

 515

 86

 132

 15

 6

 32

 105

 39

 172

 26

 9

 .256

 .310

 .495

 .805

1990

KC

AL

 111

 405

 74

 110

 16

 1

 28

 78

 44

 128

 15

 9

 .272

 .342

 .523

 .866

1991

CWS

AL

 23

 71

 8

 16

 4

 0

 3

 14

 12

 25

 0

 1

 .225

 .333

 .408

 .742

1993

CWS

AL

 85

 284

 32

 66

 9

 0

 16

 45

 23

 106

 0

 2

 .232

 .289

 .433

 .722

1994

Cal

AL

 75

 201

 23

 56

 7

 0

 13

 43

 20

 72

 1

 0

 .279

 .344

 .507

 .851

Totals

 694

 2393

 341

 598

 86

 14

 141

 415

 200

 841

 82

 32

 .250

 .309

 .474

 .784

Totals

AL

 694

 2393

 341

 598

 86

 14

 141

 415

 200

 841

 82

 32

 .250

 .309

 .474

 .784

BRIANJORDAN.jpg

Brian Jordan came out of Richmond and played three years for the NFL Atlanta Falcons (1989-91), starting 30 games in his final two years, and then quit to join the St. Louis Cardinals. Jordan spent 15 years in MLB, primarily with the Cardinals and Braves.  He also apeared with the Dodgers and Rangers. Jordan hit .282 with 184 home runs, was an All-Star and played in the World Series in 1999.

Year

Team

Lg

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

1992

StL

NL

 55

 193

 17

 40

 9

 4

 5

 22

 10

 48

 7

 2

 .207

 .250

 .373

 .623

1993

StL

NL

 67

 223

 33

 69

 10

 6

 10

 44

 12

 35

 6

 6

 .309

 .351

 .543

 .894

1994

StL

NL

 53

 178

 14

 46

 8

 2

 5

 15

 16

 40

 4

 3

 .258

 .320

 .410

 .730

1995

StL

NL

 131

 490

 83

 145

 20

 4

 22

 81

 22

 79

 24

 9

 .296

 .339

 .488

 .827

1996

StL

NL

 140

 513

 82

 159

 36

 1

 17

 104

 29

 84

 22

 5

 .310

 .349

 .483

 .833

1997

StL

NL

 47

 145

 17

 34

 5

 0

 0

 10

 10

 21

 6

 1

 .234

 .311

 .269

 .580

1998

StL

NL

 150

 564

 100

 178

 34

 7

 25

 91

 40

 66

 17

 5

 .316

 .368

 .534

 .902

1999

Atl

NL

 153

 576

 100

 163

 28

 4

 23

 115

 51

 81

 13

 8

 .283

 .346

 .465

 .811

2000

Atl

NL

 133

 489

 71

 129

 26

 0

 17

 77

 38

 80

 10

 2

 .264

 .320

 .421

 .742

2001

Atl

NL

 148

 560

 82

 165

 32

 3

 25

 97

 31

 88

 3

 2

 .295

 .334

 .496

 .830

2002

LA

NL

 128

 471

 65

 134

 27

 3

 18

 80

 34

 86

 2

 2

 .285

 .338

 .469

 .807

2003

LA

NL

 66

 224

 28

 67

 9

 0

 6

 28

 23

 30

 1

 1

 .299

 .372

 .420

 .791

2004

Tex

AL

 61

 212

 27

 47

 13

 1

 5

 23

 16

 35

 2

 2

 .222

 .275

 .363

 .638

2005

Atl

NL

 76

 231

 25

 57

 8

 2

 3

 24

 14

 46

 2

 0

 .247

 .295

 .338

 .632

2006

Atl

NL

 48

 91

 11

 21

 2

 0

 3

 10

 7

 23

 0

 0

 .231

 .287

 .352

 .639

Totals

 1456

 5160

 755

 1454

 267

 37

 184

 821

 353

 842

 119

 48

 .282

 .333

 .455

 .788

Totals

AL

 61

 212

 27

 47

 13

 1

 5

 23

 16

 35

 2

 2

 .222

 .275

 .363

 .638

Totals

NL

 1395

 4948

 728

 1407

 254

 36

 179

 798

 337

 807

 117

 46

 .284

 .336

 .459

 .795

deionsanders.jpg

Deion Sanders played for the Yankees, Braves, Reds and Giants. He made history by helicoptering in to Atlanta to appear in a post-season game with the Braves after playing earlier in the day for the Falcons./ He hit .553 and was 5-for-5 in stolen bases for the Braves in 1992. He led the NL in triples in 1992, and was second in stolen bases in 1994 with 38 and in 1997 with 56. In the NFL, Sanders was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and played in Super bowls with the 49ers and Cowboys.

Year

Team

Lg

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

1989

NYY

AL

 14

 47

 7

 11

 2

 0

 2

 7

 3

 8

 1

 0

 .234

 .280

 .404

 .684

1990

NYY

AL

 57

 133

 24

 21

 2

 2

 3

 9

 13

 27

 8

 2

 .158

 .236

 .271

 .507

1991

Atl

NL

 54

 110

 16

 21

 1

 2

 4

 13

 12

 23

 11

 3

 .191

 .270

 .345

 .616

1992

Atl

NL

 97

 303

 54

 92

 6

 14

 8

 28

 18

 52

 26

 9

 .304

 .346

 .495

 .841

1993

Atl

NL

 95

 272

 42

 75

 18

 6

 6

 28

 16

 42

 19

 7

 .276

 .321

 .452

 .773

1994

Atl

NL

 46

 191

 32

 55

 10

 0

 4

 21

 16

 28

 19

 7

 .288

 .343

 .403

 .746

1994

Cin

NL

 46

 184

 26

 51

 7

 4

 0

 7

 16

 35

 19

 9

 .277

 .342

 .359

 .700

TOTAL

 92

 375

 58

 106

 17

 4

 4

 28

 32

 63

 38

 16

 .283

 .342

 .381

 .724

1995

Cin

NL

 33

 129

 19

 31

 2

 3

 1

 10

 9

 18

 16

 3

 .240

 .296

 .326

 .621

1995

SF

NL

 52

 214

 29

 61

 9

 5

 5

 18

 18

 42

 8

 6

 .285

 .346

 .444

 .790

TOTAL

 85

 343

 48

 92

 11

 8

 6

 28

 27

 60

 24

 9

 .268

 .327

 .399

 .727

1997

Cin

NL

 115

 465

 53

 127

 13

 7

 5

 23

 34

 67

 56

 13

 .273

 .329

 .363

 .693

2001

Cin

NL

 32

 75

 6

 13

 2

 0

 1

 4

 4

 10

 3

 4

 .173

 .235

 .240

 .475

Totals

 641

 2123

 308

 558

 72

 43

 39

 168

 159

 352

 186

 63

 .263

 .319

 .392

 .711

Totals

AL

 71

 180

 31

 32

 4

 2

 5

 16

 16

 35

 9

 2

 .178

 .247

 .306

 .553

Totals

NL

 570

 1943

 277

 526

 68

 41

 34

 152

 143

 317

 177

 61

 .271

 .326

 .400

 .726

drewhutchinson.jpg

Drew Henson was a third-round drat choice of the Yankees when he came out of high school in 1998, and signed a six-year, $17 million deal that assured he would forgo the NFL. He did, however, attend the University of Michigan, sharing time at quarterback his freshman and sophomore years with Brady. He became the starting quarterback for the Wolverines as a junior. Meanwhile, he purused his professional baseball career, which saw him traded in 2000 to Cincinnati as part of a package for pitcher Denny Neagel, but reacquired by the Yankees the next year. He received two late-season call ups from the Yankees before ending his baseball career, but in 2015 joined the Yankees in their scouting department.

Year

Team

Lg

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2002

NYY

AL

 3

 1

 1

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 1

 0

 0

 .000

 .000

 .000

 .000

2003

NYY

AL

 5

 8

 2

 1

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2

 0

 0

 .125

 .125

 .125

 .250

Totals

 8

 9

 3

 1

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 3

 0

 0

 .111

 .111

 .111

 .222

chadhutchinson.jpg

Chad Hutchinson came out of high school intent on playing football at Stanford and said he wouldn't sign with a baseball team for less than $1.5 million. Just the same, the Braves made him the 26th player selected in the 1995 draft and met his demands, but failed to sign Hutchinson. The Cardinals used a second-round pick in 1998 on Hutcons, and signed him to a four-year, $4.5 million deal. He made the opening day roster in 2001, but after three appearances his big-league career was over. He held a tryout for the NFL that the Bears, Cowboys and Chiefs attended, and signed a three-year, $8.1 million deal with the Cowboys. His MLB debut came against the Rockies in 2001 and he struck out Ben Petrick and Denny Neagle for the only strikeouts of his big-league career.

Year

Team

Lg

W

L

SV

SVO

G

GS

CG

INN

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

WHIP

FIP

ERA

2001

StL

NL

 0

 0

 0

 0

 3

 0

 0

 4.0

 9

 11

 11

 3

 6

 2

 3.75

 17.01

 24.75

Totals

 0

 0

 0

 0

 3

 0

 0

 4.0

 9

 11

 11

 3

 6

 2

 3.75

 17.01

 24.75

djdozier.jpg

D.J. Dozier was an 18th round draft choice of the Tigers out of high school, slipping because of his focus on football, and opted to take a football scholarship to Penn State instead of signing. The Mets did sign him as a free agent in 1990 and called him up for what became a brief MLB crder on May 6, 1992. A running back in the NFL, he was a firstround draft choice in 1987 of the Vikings, and played four seasons for the Vikings before finishing his career with the Lions in 1991.

Year

Team

Lg

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

1992

NYM

NL

 25

 47

 4

 9

 2

 0

 0

 2

 4

 19

 4

 0

 .191

 .264

 .234

 .498

Totals

 25

 47

 4

 9

 2

 0

 0

 2

 4

 19

 4

 0

 .191

 .264

 .234

 .498

mattkinzer.jpg

Matt Kinzer was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 1984, and had brief careers in both MLB and the NFL, where he spent one game as a punter for the Lions during the 1987 player strike. Kinzer pitched in the big leagues with Cardinals and Tigers, for whom he made one apppearance for the Tigers in 1990. He was the only player to play for both the Tigers and Lions, which earned him the nickname Detroit Liger. After retiring as a player he initially became an agent, and is now a big-league scout.

Year

Team

Lg

W

L

SV

SVO

G

GS

CG

INN

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

WHIP

FIP

ERA

1989

StL

NL

 0

 2

 0

 0

 8

 1

 0

 13.1

 25

 20

 19

 3

 4

 8

 2.18

 5.29

 12.83

1990

Det

AL

 0

 0

 0

 0

 1

 0

 0

 1.2

 3

 3

 3

 0

 3

 1

 3.60

 7.01

 16.20

Totals

 0

 2

 0

 0

 9

 1

 0

 15.0

 28

 23

 22

 3

 7

 9

 2.33

 5.54

 13.20

There have been at least 68 athletes who played in both MLB and the NFL.

Baseball and Football Players

Source: Baseball-almanac.com

MLB / NFL Players (Alphabetical Order)

There are 64 players who appeared in the NFL and MLB.

Player

MLB Seasons

NFL Seasons

Cliff Aberson

1947 - 1949

1946 - 1946

Red Badgro

1929 - 1930

1927 - 1936

Norm Bass

1961 - 1963

1964 - 1964

Charlie Berry

1925 - 1938

1925 - 1926

Larry Bettencourt

1928 - 1928 / 1931 - 1932

1933 - 1933

Lyle Bigbee

1920 - 1921

1922 - 1922

Josh Booty

1996 - 1998

2001 - 2003

George Brickley

1913 - 1913

1920 - 1921

Tom Brown

1963 - 1963

1964 - 1969

Garland Buckeye

1918 - 1918 / 1925 - 1928

1920 - 1924

Bruce Caldwell

1928 - 1928 / 1932 - 1932

1928 - 1928

Ralph Capron

1912 - 1913

1920 - 1920

Jim Castiglia

1942 - 1942

1941 - 1941 / 1945 - 1948

Chuck Corgan

1925 - 1925 / 1927 - 1927

1924 - 1927

Shorty Des Jardien

1916 - 1916

1920 - 1920 / 1922 - 1922

D.J. Dozier

1992 - 1992

1987 - 1992

Chuck Dressen

1925 - 1931 / 1933 - 1933

1920 - 1920 / 1922 - 1923

Paddy Driscoll

1917 - 1917

1920 - 1929

Ox Eckhardt

1932 - 1932 / 1936 - 1936

1928 - 1928

Steve Filipowicz

1944 - 1945 / 1948 - 1948

1945 - 1946

Paul Florence

1926 - 1926

1920 - 1920

Walt French

1923 - 1923 / 1925 - 1929

1922 - 1922 / 1925 - 1925

Wally Gilbert

1928 - 1932

1923 - 1927

Norm Glockson

1914 - 1914

1922 - 1922

Frank Grube

1931 - 1936 / 1941 - 1941

1928 - 1928

Bruno Haas

1915 - 1915

1921 - 1922

Hinkey Haines

1923 - 1923

1925 - 1929 / 1931 - 1931

George Halas

1919 - 1919

1920 - 1929

Carroll Hardy

1958 - 1967

1955 - 1955

Drew Henson

2002 - 2003

2004 - 2005 / 2006 - 2008

Chad Hutchinson

2001 - 2001

2002 - 2004

Bo Jackson

1986 - 1991 / 1993 - 1994

1987 - 1990

Lefty Jamerson

1924 - 1924

1926 - 1926

Vic Janowicz

1953 - 1954

1954 - 1955

Rex Johnston

1964 - 1964

1960 - 1960

Brian Jordan

1992 - 2006

1989 - 1992

Matt Kinzer

1989 - 1990

1987 - 1987

Bert Kuczynski

1943 - 1943

1943 - 1943 / 1946 - 1946

Pete Layden

1948 - 1948

1948 - 1950

Jim Levey

1930 - 1933

1934 - 1936

Dean Look

1961 - 1961

1962 - 1962

Waddy Macphee

1922 - 1922

1925 - 1926

Howard Maple

1932 - 1932

1930 - 1930

Walt Masters

1931 - 1931 / 1937 - 1939

1936 - 1936 / 1943 - 1944

John Mohardt

1922 - 1922

1921 - 1925

Ernie Nevers

1926 - 1928

1926 - 1927 / 1929 - 1931

Ossie Orwoll

1928 - 1929

1926 - 1926

Ace Parker

1937 - 1938

1937 - 1941 / 1945 - 1946

John Perrin

1921 - 1921

1926 - 1926

Al Pierotti

1920 - 1921

1920 - 1929

Pid Purdy

1926 - 1929

1926 - 1927

Dick Reichle

1922 - 1923

1923 - 1923

Deion Sanders

1989 - 1997 / 2001 - 2001

1989 - 2000 / 2004 - 2005

Johnny Scalzi

1931 - 1931

1931 - 1931

Red Smith

1927 - 1927

1927 - 1931

Evar Swanson

1929 - 1934

1924 - 1927

Jim Thorpe

1913 - 1919

1920 - 1928

Andy Tomasic

1949 - 1949

1942 - 1942 / 1946 - 1946

Luke Urban

1927 - 1928

1921 - 1924

Joe Vance

1935 - 1937 / 1938 - 1938

1931 - 1931

Ernie Vick

1922 - 1922 / 1924 - 1926

1925 - 1925 / 1927 - 1928

Tom Whelan

1920 - 1920

1920 - 1921

Mike Wilson

1921 - 1921

1922 - 1924

Hoge Workman

1924 -1924

1924 - 1925 / 1931 - 1932

Ab Wright

1935 - 1935 / 1944 - 1944

1930 - 1930

Tom Yewcic

1957 - 1957

1961 - 1966

Russ Young

1931 - 1931

1925 - 1926

Joe Zapustas

1933 - 1933

1933 - 1933