Tom Brady has made a remarkable living delivering strikes to receivers. But what if his intended targets were shortstops and second basemen instead of NFL pass-catchers?
The New England Patriots quarterback, as some already know, was a stud baseball player at Junipero Serra High School in addition to excelling at football. In fact, Brady was so prolific on the diamond as a left-handed hitting catcher that he actually was drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Exactly 22 years ago Friday, the Montreal Expos selected Brady in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft.
So, what did the Expos see in Brady? A heck of a lot, according to Montreal’s general manager at the time, Kevin Malone.
“I think he could have been one of the greatest catchers ever,” Malone recently told Bleacher Report’s Bill Speros. “I know that’s quite a statement, but the projections were based on the fact we had a left-hand-hitting catcher, with arm strength and who was athletic. … But his first love was football.”
That’s quite a statement, indeed. Apparently Malone isn’t alone in his praise of Brady the baseball player, though — scouts reportedly raved about his amazing throwing arm, and some of Brady’s teammates insisted he got more attention for baseball than football in high school. (Keep in mind, this is the same high school that produced MLB’s all-time home runs leader, Barry Bonds.)
Of course, you know how this story plays out: Brady played quarterback at Michigan for four years before Bill Belichick took a flier on him with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. But the rave baseball reviews make for a pretty enticing game of “what if?”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images