Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson: Gridiron Diamonds
- Published: April 5, 2012 at 03:12 p.m.
- Updated: April 1, 2013 at 01:06 p.m.
In honor of the start of the Major League baseball season, here’s a look at the careers of two of the greatest gridiron diamonds of all time, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders.
Down to Memphis
Bo Jackson was drafted by the Buccaneers with the No. 1 overall pick in 1986, but he surprised the sports world when he signed a deal with the Royals. His first stop was with the Memphis Chicks.
Jackson was known for his strikeouts and his monstrous homeruns, but he also was a pretty good fielder. Here he robs Jack Clark of a home run.
And here we have Jackson disappearing into the Green Monster during a game in Boston.
Jackson's raw power was something few previously had shown on a baseball field. One of his most impressive displays was not a tape-measure home run, however, it was when he broke a bat over his knee after striking out.
Jackson's best season came in 1989 when he hit .256 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs. The highlight was his crushing home run in the All-Star game at Anaheim Stadium.
All-Star Game MVP
Jackson shined at the plate and in the field for the American League, and he was selected as the MVP of the 1989 All-Star Game.
After Jackson's football career was cut short by a hip injury, injuries also limited him on the baseball field. He did manage to have a great season in 1993 and was selected as the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
And during his tenure with the White Sox, Jackson found himself trying to separate bodies during one of the most infamous brawls in baseball history when Robin Ventura charged the mound occupied by the legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan.
Jackson was one of those athletes who transcended sports, here he pals around with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Jackson's final season was with the California Angels in 1994. Jackson played in 75 games and hit .279 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs.
New York Yankees
Deion Sanders was drafted by the Royals in the sixth round of the 1985 MLB Draft, but he didn't sign with Kansas City, instead going to school at Florida State. Sanders was eventually drafted by the Yankees, and he made his debut with the club in 1989.
Deion Sanders became the first person in history to hit a home run and score a touchdown in the same week, when he did it as a member of the Yankees and the Falcons.
Sanders, noted for his defensive skills on the gridiron, also covered a lot of ground in the outfield, too. Although the ball gets away from him here ...
Sanders played two seasons with the Yankees, but made his life a little bit easier when he joined the Atlanta Braves in 1991.
Sanders was able to play with the Braves during the 1992 playoffs, and he famously played a game with the Falcons in Miami during the day, before he boarded a jet for Pittsburgh immediately thereafter. Sanders then took a helicopter from the airport to a building nearby Three Rivers Stadium.
Sanders didn't get into the game against the Pirates, although he did help out teammate Terry Pendleton with a back rub.
1992 World Series
Sanders did have an incredible World Series against the Blue Jays, batting .533 with four runs, eight hits, two doubles, and one RBI, while playing with a broken bone in his foot. Sanders' effort was for naught, however, as Toronto took the title.
Sanders' final years included stops in Cincinnati (1994 to 95 and 1997) and San Francisco (1995). He retired from baseball, but then gave it one last chance when he returned to the Reds in 2001. He was sent down to AAA-Syracuse that season and was forced to show up to Redskins training camp because he was not on the team's Major League roster.