Last week the Atlanta Braves signed Sanders Commings, previously of the Kansas City Chiefs, to a minor league deal. Somewhat on the heels of the Mets bringing Tim Tebow into the fold last fall, signing Commings is the most recent reminder of a rare treat: the two-sport player.
Sources: #Braves signing OF Sanders Commings to minor-league deal. Former DB w/University of Georgia, Kansas City Chiefs. From Augusta, Ga.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 23, 2017
For an entire generation, the face of the multi-sport athlete was one man: Bo Jackson. And the theme he carried across his time in the NFL and MLB was “Bo Knows.” Bo Knows Baseball. Bo Knows Football. Bo Jackson made it seem possible that an incredibly talented athlete might actually be able to conquer two sports at their highest level.
Michael Jordan played one year of minor league baseball (under the tutelage of Terry Francona!) well into his NBA career and somehow still hit .202/.289/.266 going straight into Double A. He didn’t start in the Arizona Fall League or play in rookie ball. While Bo Knows is a great tagline, reaching the highest level in two sports is hard.
But the Red Sox don’t need to look outside of their 40-man or 25-man roster - or even the outfield - to find their multi-sport star: it’s Mookie Betts!
That's my Right Fielder! @mookiebetts pic.twitter.com/1DPChWXBsl— Mike Camaioni (@mvcredsox87) February 18, 2017
Betts has competed in the PBA World Series of Bowling, has a profile with the United States Bowling Congress, and was at it again last week at Chris Paul’s charity bowling tournament. Nothing like having to face a professional athlete during a charity tournament. He’s great at every sport he plays really.
If you’re on the Red Sox how to do possibly not feel inadequate next to Betts? If you’re Hanley Ramirez and Joe Kelly, you try to make half-court shots.
And if you can do that, why not make it a little more difficult?
On second thought I guess that’s easy too.
Baseball is tough. Football is tough. Basketball is tough. These guys are talented.