Major League Baseball and the National Football League have shared plenty of players over the years; most famously Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, who were able to compete at the highest levels of both leagues for multiple seasons.
In 1990, Bo became the first person to be selected as an All-Star and Pro Bowler.
Not to be outdone, “Prime Time” is the only player to score a touchdown and hit a home run in the same week and the only to play in the Super Bowl and World Series.
Then two years ago, former Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray set a new bar for the next two-sport phenom to reach.
Murray, who had been selected with the ninth overall pick by the Oakland A’s in 2018, followed that up by being taken first in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Oklahoma centerfielder/quarterback initially signed with the A’s, negotiating a nearly $5 million bonus, before a Heisman award solidified his decision to buck baseball and take his shot as a signal-caller on Sundays with the Arizona Cardinals.
The question for Murray is whether he, like Jackson and Sanders before him, will ultimately be unable to resist the call of the diamond.
It seems like he’s, at the very least, very willing to listen.
In multiple interviews earlier this year, Kyler Murray has said that he wants the chance to see if he can make it to “The Show.”
“I would love to,” he said on The Pat McAfee Show. “I think it’s still there because I’ve been doing it my whole life. It wasn’t like I have to turn this off to be elite at football.”
McAfee asked Murray directly about playing with an MLB team and if he could potentially play both sports, and Murray answered: “I hope so. I hope so. I mean, I would love to. I think that would be good for everybody…I think it is tough because I play quarterback.”
On The Dan Patrick Show, he did it again. “That was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” Murray said. “It honestly took me a long time to figure out what I was going to do.”
“It was hard for me to tell (the A’s) I’m not coming to play for them after I already told them I was going to.”
Whoever decides to take a shot at signing Murray this time around will have to make it worth his while financially. Murray is entering year three of his four-year/$35.15 million rookie deal with the Cardinals. His contract would be voided if he were to leave football for baseball.
Murray also said that Sanders had advised him to choose MLB and that he’d be open to either returning to the A’s or having his rights traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in order to potentially make his dual-sports dreams come true. The A’s might not want to go down that road again after Murray reneged the first time.
The one thing that is certain is that Kyler Murray understands that if or when he does give baseball one more try, it won’t be something he takes lightly.
“To the people that say ‘you should have played baseball’, I don’t think you understand how difficult the game of baseball is,” Murray said. “Especially to play at that level, you’ve got to go through the minor leagues and stuff like that. It’s a grind. It’s taxing on the body, you play every day. It’s not easy.”
It isn’t easy, but the door will remain open for Kyler Murray when he is ready to find out just how hard it is.