One of the most shocking moves in the 2014 MLB Draft was when the San Diego Padres drafted Johnny Manziel. The pick was a low one, Manziel heading to San Diego with the 837th pick in the draft, but at the same time it seems like a wasted pick. Manziel, the former quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies, was the first freshman who ever won the Heisman Trophy. The Cleveland Browns drafted Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft and he will compete for the starting quarterback role with the Browns.
To his credit, Manziel called being drafted by San Diego a great moment. The Padres responded by saying they didn’t see why they shouldn’t draft him, which makes it sound like baseball teams might have too many draft picks each year. To make the pick even more surprising, Manziel, a shortstop, never even played baseball for Texas A&M. He also isn’t the first NFL player to hear his name called by an MLB team in their yearly drafts.
The Texas Rangers pulled off a similar move earlier this year, but that might be even stranger than the San Diego draft pick. Russell Wilson won the Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks and then the Texas Rangers took Russell Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft after that. The Colorado Rockies drafted Wilson out of college and he played some minor league ball for them before getting a chance to start for the Seahawks. Texas knew they would never play Wilson when they took him from Colorado, but they wanted to draft him so he could come in and talk to their young players about what he feels led to his success in the NFL.
While neither Manziel nor Wilson ever expected to play for the teams that drafted them, there were two major two-sport stars that did play in the NFL and MLB. The biggest name for many years was Bo Jackson, one of the most exciting superstars in professional sports history. Jackson played football for the Los Angeles Raiders for three years before he suffered a hip injury that ended his career early. He also played baseball for nine seasons and finished his MLB career with 141 home runs.
While Bo Jackson was the most popular two-sport star, Deion Sanders was the most successful when it came to longevity. Sanders played in the NFL for 14 years where he won two Super Bowls, was an eight-time Pro Bowl star and entered the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011. On top of playing all those years in the NFL, Sanders also played nine years in the MLB. He is the only person to ever play in both a Super Bowl and World Series. He went to the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys and the World Series with the Atlanta Braves.