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Tom Brady Was Nearly a Expo, Passed on by the Yankees

By Mike Silva ~ February 1st, 2012. Filed under: Outside the Apple.

Here is another cool baseball-football connection this Super Bowl week.

I am sure this has been talked about before, but Jeff Bradley did a nice piece in the Star-Ledger about Patriots QB Tom Brady and his near baseball career.

You know about the three Super Bowl titles, but did you know that Brady was an outstanding baseball player? I didn’t.  Brady went to Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California. It’s the same school that produced Gregg JefferiesBarry Bonds and, back in the day, Jim Fregosi.

Brady was a 6-4, 200-pound, lefty-hitting catcher. His former coach, Pete Jensen, describes him as a “can’t-miss major-league prospect.” He also believed he was more of a “sure thing” than Bonds or Jefferies, even telling Bradley that he thought Brady was a better baseball player in High School.

The Montreal Expos drafted him in the 18th round of the 1995 draft. Only two players drafted in that round made it to the big leagues: Greg Jones, who had brief cups of coffee with the Angels, and Steve Randolph, a pitcher that spent some time with Arizona and Houston. Randolph was the pick before Brady and was taken by the Yankees.

Jensen would take Brady to a pre-draft workout at the Kingdome in Seattle where he put on a show. “He hit two or three balls out in batting practice with a wood bat and was probably the best-throwing guy there. But everybody knew by then he was going to Michigan,” Jensen said.

Expos scout John Hughes tried hard to sign Brady. He even commented about how comfortable he was during a visit to the Montreal clubhouse. Baseball, however, wasn’t in the cards. There was thought about him being a two-sport athlete at Michigan, but Lloyd Carr wasn’t going to let Brady skip spring practice. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft, which didn’t make him a shoo-in for a successful Pro Football career.

Alas, there was Bill Belichick, the injury to Drew Bledsoe, the “tuck rule,” three Super Bowl victories, and a marriage to Supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Win or lose this Sunday versus the Giants, I think Brady’s decision turned out ok.

I do agree that Brady’s makeup and intelligence he would have made for a good receiver behind the plate. He actually profiles a bit like Joe Mauer, before the drop-off.

I recommend you check out the article by Bradley, which includes some pictures of Brady behind the plate.


Here is an interesting trivia question courtesy of our friend Joe Delgrippo.

What two Super Bowl Quarterbacks were drafted by a professional baseball team.

We actually have talked about both of them on the site. Brady, obviously, is the first one. The other? A certain individual that some think could have been a star for the Yankees.

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6 Responses to Tom Brady Was Nearly a Expo, Passed on by the Yankees

  1. Chuck Johnson

    “What two Super Bowl Quarterbacks were drafted by a professional baseball team”

    Jay Schroeder..played several years in the minors with the Blue Jays and played for the Redskins in SB XXII.

  2. Faiaz

    John Elway… I forget which corner outfield position.

  3. Mike Silva


    Doug Williams actually led the Redskins to the Super Bowl title in 1987. Schroeder was on that team, but I should have been clear and said “Super Bowl Winning QB’s,” which is Brady and Elway.

    For what it’s worth, it appears Schroeder had some power, but struck out as many as 172 times during his MILB career.


  4. Chuck Johnson

    Not a good question either way Mike, considering Brady never signed.

  5. Mike Silva

    It’s more just an interesting story, that’s all.

  6. Joseph DelGrippo

    My original question last night to Mike was “Which two STARTING Super Bowl quarterbacks were drafted by MLB?”

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