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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Best Multi-Sport Baseball Players

Bo Knew Baseball

September 30, 2009 – Peter Schiller

After the popularity of our story on Michael Jordan’s brief professional baseball career (yes, minor league baseball is considered professional level) in the MiLB with the Barons we were inspired to bring you this list.

Editor’s note: Every player on this list has played professional Baseball (MLB or MiLB) and another professional sport.

8 – Michael Jordan: Birmingham Baron (AA) at age 31 (for one year) after his first retirement (he retired three times) and NBA Hall of Famer. He hit only .202 with 3 HRs 51 RBIs and 18 SB. His fielding wasn’t much betterin theOF as his fielding percentage was .952

7 – Nathaniel Clifton – Minor League 1B in the Cleveland organization before moving onto the NBA for 8 seasons. As a 1B he hit .307 and 23 HRs

6 – Chuck Connors: Chicago Cubs 1B for 66 games, Brooklyn Dodgers 1B for one game and Boston Celtics as a F/C for 53 games before becoming an actor most famous for his role as “The Rifleman”. He hit only .238 with 2 HRs, 18 RBIs and 2 SBs

5 – Danny Ainge: Toronto Blue Jays and NBA player, coach and GM. While Ainge couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag, he was playing in the major league. He played 211 games over three seasons in Toronto and hit 2 HRs, 37 RBIs, 12 SBs while hitting .220. He played mainly 2B and 3B, but also saw time at SS (6 games), LF (6 games), RF (2 games), DH (4 games) and CF (25 games).

4 – Jim Thorpe: NY Giants, Reds and Boston Braves OF from 1913 to 1919 and NFL All Decade RB/DB in the 1920’s. In those 6 seasons in the OF he hit .258 with 7 HRs, 82 RBIs and 29 SBs

3 – Deion Sanders: In 9 seasons in the OF for the Yankees, Braves, Reds and Giants he averaged .263 with 39 HRs, 168 RBIs, 43 triples (he led the NL with 14 in 1992) and 186 SBs. He was a CB for Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens.

2 – Bo Jackson: 8 seasons with the Royals, White Sox and Angels as an OF/DH. He hit for only a .250 BA, but had 141 HRs, 415 RBIs and 82 SBs. Bo Knew Baseball, but he also knew the NFL as a RB until his hip injury. He played both sports from age 25 to 28.

1 – Brian Jordan: 15 seasons mostly as an OF for the Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Rangers. His career BA was .282 with a .333 OBP and 184 HRs, 821 RBIs and 119 SBs. He was also a Safety with the Atlanta Falcons for 36 games.

Although Bo & Deion were the most famous of these former MLB baseball players, it’s hard to argue with Brian Jordan’s 15 years, .282 BA and other numbers. Although Bo would have surpassed him in HRs and possibly some other categories if he was able to play longer.

Both Danny Ainge & Chuck Connors beat out Jordan and Clifton only because they played on the Major League teams while Jordan and Clifton only played in the minors!