During his NFL career, former star quarterback Michael Vick was one of the most exciting players to watch on a weekly basis. Vick was a uniquely-gifted player under center with unmatched speed and athleticism at the position along with a tremendously strong arm. Before that ever took off, he was once a promising baseball prospect that had drawn much interest from the MLB. In fact, it was a career path that he nearly took instead of moving forward with football.
Michael Vick’s football career
Dating back to high school, Vick was a standout athlete as he excelled as a three-year starting quarterback Warwick High School in Virginia. During that span, he tallied 4,846 passing yards with 43 touchdown passes along with 1,048 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
Vick proved to be a dual-threat option that took off at Virginia Tech where he was the starter in his final two seasons. He was a dual-threat option that truly found success with his legs that helped him become the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
During his time with the Falcons before his off-the-field issues ended his tenure, he had established himself as one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL. Vick proved that again in his return with the Philadelphia Eagles after he spent two years in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.
He was a more polished passer later with the Eagles and finished his career as a backup with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. In 13 seasons, Vick earned four Pro Bowl selection, an NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, and holds the league record with 6,109 rushing yards for a quarterback.
In light of all that, Vick had a chance to possibly take another career path with baseball.
Michael Vick was Drafted by Colorado Rockies
Before Vick leaped to the NFL, there were some baseball aspirations that he could have followed.
Despite not playing the sports since middle school, the Colorado Rockies took a shot by selecting him with the 887th overall pick in the 30th round of the 2000 MLB Draft. The Rockies had taken a chance with the situation as they banked on his athletic gifts with his speed and strong arm potentially translating to baseball.
The possibility intriguing Vick enough to invite the Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt along with local scout Jay Matthews and team special assistant Danny Montgomery over to his home. The Virginia Tech product could have played minor-league baseball and maintained his collegiate eligibility for football.
Vick was reportedly interested in the money, but then-head coach Frank Beamer convinced his star quarterback that there was more money ahead of him in the NFL, according to Aaron Dodson of The Undefeated.
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech’s Hall of Fame head football coach, gave Vick his blessing to pursue a career in baseball. He also imparted some wisdom that has never been lost upon his former star quarterback. “Coach told me, ‘At the end of the day, son, you’re gonna make millions in football. Just be patient,’ ” Vick said. “I was patient for another season, and it worked out.”
It also would have been a tremendous hurdle for him to get reacclimated to playing baseball as he had not played on a team since his middle school days. Vick had tremendous physical ability, but no guarantee would translate to him experiencing success in baseball. Ultimately, Vick chose what he believed was best for him moving forward.
Did Michael Vick make the right choice?
Although it would have been quite intriguing to see Vick’s speed and athleticism on the baseball field, there would have been plenty of challenges ahead.
He didn’t have the experience of playing on a team in high school or college, which would have required him to adjust to the speed of the game, among other factors. There’s no question his athletic ability would have helped him in the process, but he more than likely would have struggled at the plate.
Vick’s NFL career had plenty of ups and downs, but his talent was best utilized in football.