Two sport stars - more than Kyler Murray
Posted by mikelink45 , 17 February 2019 · 542 views
jim thorpe gene conley dick groat bo jackson deion sanders
Kyler Murray has set the internet buzzing with his two-sport potential. The A’s hope he chooses baseball, the NFL wants him for football. So it got me thinking about baseball players and their second sports. According to Wiki there are 70 Athletes who played in both MLB and NFL.
Bo Jackson was the second Heisman Trophy winner to play in both – Vic Janowicz was the first with the Pirates and the Red Sox!
Deion Sanders is in the NFL HOF, if he had stayed with baseball maybe he could have been in that too. There are six other NFL HOF players who were in MLB – Red Badgro (on the 1927 Yankees – football team, and the St Louis Browns), Paddy Driscoll (played for the cubs and two NFL teams), George Halas (coach, owner of the Bears was on the 1919 Yankees), Ernie Nevers (Duluth Eskimos, Stanford, both NFL and College HOF played with the St Louis Browns), Ace Parker (Philadelphia A’s and 3 NFL teams) and of Course Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was also an Olympic hero and played for multiple teams in both NFL and MLB.
None are in the MLB HOF but Jackson played in 694 major league games and 38 games with the Raiders – without injury he might have been the first to make both HOFs. He made the All Star game in both sports. Deion Sanders played in 641 games in MLB and 188 in NFL with four teams in each sport and made the HOF. Sanders is the only person to be in both the World Series and the Superbowl.
Cal Hubbard is the exception in that he did make both NFL and MLB Hall of Fame, but he did so as a linebacker and an umpire.
Tim Tebow is trying hard to be the next one on this list.
But there is another list – NBA and MLB. In this list is Danny Ainge the GM and president of the Celtics, the team he played for as a guard. He also appeared for the Toronto Blue Jays Frank Baumholtz played for Cleveland in the NBA forerunner and was fifth, behind Jackie Robinson for ROY.
Gene Conley was a pitcher for the Milwaukee braves and played for the Boston Celtic. He was part of the Braves World Series championship and the Celtics three NBA titles in 1959 – 1961.
The Rifleman, Chuck Connors helped the Rochester Royals win the championship before joining the Celtics and then the Dodgers! DeBusschere was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983 as a knick and then pitched for the White Sox from 1962-63.
Dick Groat, the 1960 NL MVP was also on the Fort Wayne Pistons for one year. Steve Hamilton played in MLB for 12 years including the 1963 and 1964 champion Yankees and in 1958 – 1960 he was a powerforward on our Minneapolis Lakers.
Mark Hendrickson was in 114 NBA games and pitched for ten years for five MLB teams.
Cotton Nash was an all-American then played for the Lakers and San Francisco Warriors during the 1964-65 season. Two years later he played 13 games as a first baseman and left fielder for the White Sox and Twins.
Ron Reed was a 19 year major league reliever and during his rookie year he was also a forward for the Detroit Pistons. Howie Schultz was rejected by the army because he was too tall. He played first base from 1943 – 1948 and then switched to the NBA and got a championship ring from the Lakers in the 1951 – 1952 season.
Not the NBA but Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Fergie Jenkins -- who once played for the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. David Winfield was drafted by the NFL and the NBA!
There were others in this category but who was the best? Bo Jackson is who I expected to win, but the Stats tell other stories. Of course this list only tells you of their MLB success and not their corresponding success in the other league. As I said there are HOF NFL players on this list, no HOF NBA players.
Dick Groat .286/.330/.366/.696 WAR 36.7
Gene Conley 91 - 96 .487/3.82 WAR 15.7
Ron Reed 146-140 .510/3.46 WAR 24.9
Bo Jackson - .250/.309/.474/.784 WAR 7
Deion Sanders .263/.319/.392/.711 WAR 5.5
Mark Hendrickson 58-74/.439/ 5.03 WAR 4.1
Ernie Nevers 6-12 .333/4.64 WAR 1.5
Cotton Nash .188/.316/.188/.503 WAR 0.0
Jim Thorpe .252/.286/.362/.648 WAR -0.1
George Halas .091/.091/.091/.182 WAR -0.4
Paddy Driscoll .107/.167/.143/.310 WAR -0.5
Chuck Connors .238/.280/.302/.582 WAR -0.9
Red Badgro .257/.307/.366/.674 WAR -1.1
Vic Janowicz .214/.267/286/.552 WAR -1.2
Ace Parker .179/.231/.242/.472 WAR -1.8
Danny Ainge .220/.264/.269/.533 WAR -2.0
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