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Network analyst Deion Sanders appears on set

Top 5 MLB players who also played in the NFL

MLB players have shown the ability to excel in diverse sports spanning across many generations. It takes a unique gift to produce at a high level consistently in Major League Baseball. However, to excel in multiple professional sports simultaneously takes extraordinary versatility. To withstand an extended 162-game season, only to perpetually endure the grueling physicality of a 16-game NFL season takes a standard of longevity, talent, and fitness that very few can match. Yet there are a select few athletes who have thrived off the pressure to perform at an elite level on the diamond and on the gridiron. Here are our top 5 MLB players who also made a lasting mark on the gridiron.

5.) Kirk Gibson, MLB Outfielder/NFL Draftee

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Kirk Gibson takes the field to throw out a ceremonial first pitch

Though he never set foot on an NFL gridiron, the former outfielder could've easily gone pro in football. In 1978, the Dodgers legend was simultaneously drafted 12th overall by the Detroit Tigers and in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Needless to say, his choice to remain a baseball player worked out. He posted a lifetime .268 BAA with 255 HR's and 870 RBI's.

4.) Walter French, MLB Outfielder/NFL Running Back

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The late Walter French quietly had a stout baseball career. Though he only had a short stint from 1925-29, he posted an eye-opening .303 lifetime average through 397 career games. His even shorter stint as an NFL player, which lasted only only season as a running back, saw him average a whopping 5.4 yards per carry. Retiring before his 31st birthday, the world never got to see just how good a baseball player or football player he really was. By all indications, he could've had a long and successful career in either.

3.) Brian Jordan MLB Outfielder/NFL Safety

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Perhaps, a player who gets overlooked far too often for his hitting prowess is Brian Jordan. While playing two full NFL seasons, Jordan's statline consists of a .282 lifetime batting average, 184 HRs, and 821 RBIs across 15 seasons in the National League.

Former Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals player and Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson waves to the crowd

2.) Bo Jackson

Considered by many to be the most powerful Raiders running back and best all-around player in both sports, the former Heisman Trophy winner averaged 5.4 yards per carry with the Oakland Raiders. Meanwhile, Bo Jackson's eight year MLB career concluded with 141 HRs, 82 SBs, and a lifetime .250 BAA, predominantly with the Kansas City Royals.

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Bo Jackson did things on a baseball field human beings aren't supposed to be able to do

The athleticism above is a talent he demonstrated on a game-by-game basis, leaving fans and players alike in utter awe of his abilities. It's just one of the many reasons Jackson's all-around ability will go down in history as one of the greatest two-sport talents the world has ever seen.

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Outfielder Deion Sanders of the Cincinnati Reds boasts to the crowd during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers

1.) Deion Sanders MLB Center-fielder/NFL Cornerback

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Deion Sanders is as legendary on the MLB diamond as he is on the NFL gridiron. Though he never played an entire 162-game season due to his coinciding football career, his cornerback speed was on full display on the field and on the basepaths. Highly regarded as one of the best all-around players in baseball history, his athleticism is a story only legends can tell and, apparently, Twitter.

Deion Sanders once hit a home run in the MLB and scored a NFL touchdown in the same week

Logging 186 career stolen bases through 641 games played, his equally quick hands earned him a .263 lifetime batting average to go with 168 career RBIs. His endurance over the course of nine seasons in Major League Baseball, alongside his 14-year NFL career will go down in history as one of the best, if not the best stories of longevity in sports history.

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Edited by
Windy Goodloe
 
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