Growing up in St. Louis, my dream as a boy was to be a professional baseball player. In those days, I could close my eyes and imagine myself trotting out onto the field at Busch Stadium to the roar of the crowd.
My inability to hit a curve ball put that dream to rest a few years later. But like many fathers, I lived vicariously for a time through my two sons and stepsons as all four competed on the baseball diamond.
The reality was that neither I, nor my sons, were anywhere close to good enough to consider a professional baseball career. So, I confess to a small measure of envy for the position Kevin Murray is in today.
Kevin Murray is the father of Kyler Murray, who won the 2018 Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma University. Kyler is also an outfielder for OU and was good enough to be drafted in the first round by the Oakland A’s.
Imagine having a son at the top of his game in two sports. For Kyler, this is the question of a bird in the hand and an even bigger one in the bush. He already signed a contract with the A’s, which included a $4.66 million signing bonus.
Kyler told the A’s he would report to spring training next month to begin his professional baseball career. If I were Kevin Murray, I would tell my son “do not pass. Go! Collect your money from the A’s and bypass the NFL draft.”
Why pass on an opportunity promising even more fame and fortune? You see, Kyler, God gives us only one body. You’re 21 today, but if you could travel forward in time and see how your body felt after your NFL career was over…
Kevin Murray probably has some aches and pains in his 55-year-old body from his football days at Texas A&M. And he didn’t play in the NFL, where defensive linemen and linebackers always try to take a quarterback’s head off.
No one is going to run into Kyler on a baseball field, unless another outfielder gets his signals crossed when Kyler calls for a fly ball hit between them. Maybe there will be less fame and fortune, but baseball is the smart choice.