Throughout the history of America’s Pastime, there have been several notable multisport baseball athletes. Despite competing in multiple sports, some of these athletes have even ended up in the Hall of Fame for their primary sport. This list of multisport athletes includes: Deion Sanders, Tony Gwynn, and Bo Jackson. There are many advantages of training multiple sports but that is a topic for another day.
Deion Sanders who is in the Hall of Fame for the NFL also had a tremendous amount of success in the MLB. Also known as “Primetime” Deion stole 186 bases in his MLB career while intercepting 53 passes in his NFL Career. He truly was a thief in both sports. Besides these impressive statistics he is the ONLY individual to play in the World Series and Super Bowl. His career spanned 14 seasons in the NFL, and 9 of those seasons overlapped with each other. All of this is made even more impressive when you factor in his own quote about both sports; “I’m married to football, baseball is my girlfriend.” Despite putting the majority of his focus into football, he was able to not only play in the MLB but have a dynamic impact in the game for 9 seasons. Currently, he is changing CFB with his coaching at Jackson State University.
Tony Gwynn who is by far one of the most underrated baseball players in recent history had quite a career for himself as a San Diego Padre. Also known as “Mr. Padre”, Tony excelled in basketball as well. Tony was drafted in the tenth round by the L.A. Clippers, the same year he was drafted by the Padres. Tony excelled at both sports while at San Diego State University. Mr. Padre made the right choice by pursuing baseball. In his professional career he had over 3,000 hits, in his 20 year career with San Diego. These 3,000 plus hits are one of the many reasons that he ended his brilliant MLB career in Cooperstown in the Hall of Fame. Following his playing days he coached baseball at his alma mater, San Diego State University. Sadly, Mr. Gwynn passed away in 2014.
Considered one of the greatest pure athletes of all-time is Bo Jackson. Bo Jackson holds maany distinctions in his illustrious athletic career. Being the only individual to be named a MLB All-Star and an NFL Pro-Bowler is one of those distinctions. To make it to the top of your profession in two different professional sports shows you the true ability and athleticism that he had in his prime. In the 1989 MLB All-Star Game, Bo was named the Most Valuable Player of that to add to his legacy. Unfortunately, a hip injury derailed his promising professional career. Despite this injury Mr. Jackson has been seen in numerous television shows as well as referenced in pop culture multiple times. Truly “Bo Knows” entertainment.
These are just a few of the more famous multisport athletes to make it to the top level of baseball. Jeff Samardizja is a recent MLB Player who was named an All-Star, while choosing the MLB over the NFL. On the other side of that Russell Wilson excelled in both football and baseball but chose to pursue the NFL, which has worked out for the Super Bowl Champion and multiple time All Star. There are many other examples of multisport athletes who chose one route over the other. The benefits of pursuing multiple sports can truly not be understated.