Johnny Manziel may not have been drafted as early in the NFL draft as everyone – especially Johnny Football himself – expected, but today, he was taken a lot earlier than he would have thought – even though it was the 28th round – in the Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres.
Johnny Football tweeted this to express his appreciation to the Padres:
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) June 7, 2014
The Padres had this to say on their Twitter feed:
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 7, 2014
So, how serious are the San Diego Padres about turning Manziel into Johnny Baseball? According to an ESPN report, Padres closer Huston Street – an alumnus of rival Texas – had this to say:
“I’m a fan. I think he’s an exciting player. I think he’s good for sport. I think he plays hard. I don’t know if he’ll ever wear a Padre uniform, but it sure is exciting that the organization took him. I know he hung out here last year a couple times and everybody really enjoyed his presence. Everybody liked him. I came away from that day thinking, `Man, that’s a good dude, that’s a cool guy.’ It seemed like he was a very focused, mentally strong guy. He wanted to do something. We know what he can do in football. Heck, if he wants to come out here and hang around before games… I don’t know if they let 28th-round picks do that, but he’s a great athlete. I don’t think anybody expects to see him in the big leagues, but maybe he’s going to try and do both. I don’t know. If he does, he’s one of the more competitive people I’ve been around. We’ll see what happens with his football career. He’s potentially got a baseball one.”
If Johnny Football did try to play in the Major Leagues and the NFL at the same time, he wouldn’t be the first to do so, by any means. No fewer than 67 athletes have played in both leagues over the years. Many of those 67 were baseball players who left to join the fledgling NFL when it formed in 1920, most notably Chicago Bears great (and forgettable New York Yankee) George Halas.
In recent decades, notables such as Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson played in both leagues. A little closer to home for Johnny Manziel may be Drew Henson, the Michigan great who passed on a football contract to play for the New York Yankees before later playing for the Cowboys, Vikings and Yankees.
Of course, Henson played baseball in college. Johnny Football didn’t – and hasn’t played competitively since high school. Nevertheless, the San Diego Padres drafted him, listing him as a shortstop for the time being.
What do you think? Should Johnny Football consider baseball? Do you think Johnny Manziel has what it takes to success with the San Diego Padres in MLB?