Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. With six Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVP trophies, three NFL MVP awards, 14 Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro selections, and numerous other awards, Brady has solidified his place among the all-time greats.
Just think, however, if Tom Brady had never joined the NFL. Some fans would certainly be fine with that as perhaps their favorite team might have had more of a chance to win more Super Bowls, or even one for that matter. Maybe the New England Patriots don’t even win one title, let alone six.
Now think about how that really could have happened. Five years before being drafted into the NFL, Tom Brady was taken in the 1995 Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Tom Brady was a solid catcher in high school
While Tom Brady was obviously a great football player for Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California, he was also an excellent baseball player, although not the best in the school’s history, seeing as how Barry Bonds had gone to that same high school years earlier.
However, Brady was still a solid player. What some might not know is that while he still threw with his right arm as a catcher, he hit left-handed. While his numbers at the plate weren’t jaw-dropping, he hit .311 with eight home runs in two years on the varsity squad and helped the team to a state championship his junior year.
Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1995
Tom Brady was famously taken in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft with the 199th overall selection. However, in 1995, he was taken even later. In the 18th round of the ’95 MLB draft, with the 503rd overall pick, the Montreal Expos, who later became the Washington Nationals, took a chance on Brady, knowing that he was still considering college. Brady was offered more money than usual for a player taken in the 18th round and Kevin Malone, who was the general manager for the Expos at the time, truly believed that Brady was going to be something special to the game of baseball.
“I think he could have been one of the greatest catchers ever. I know that’s quite a statement, but the projections were based on the fact we had a left-hand-hitting catcher, with arm strength and who was athletic.”Former Expos GM Kevin Malone on Tom Brady
Alas, Brady turned down the money and chose to attend the University of Michigan on a football scholarship. He bided his time in Ann Arbor, waiting out Brian Griese for the starting job, and started his last two years for the Wolverines. The Patriots took him in 2000 and the rest is history.
Brady was one of three future Patriots selected in the 1995 MLB draft
As it turns out, Tom Brady was one of three future New England Patriots taken in the 1995 MLB draft. Four-time Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy, who played seven seasons with the Pats and was a part of the team’s first Super Bowl win, was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the 19th round.
Oddly enough, the quarterback the Patriots selected the year before they took Brady, Michael Bishop (drafted with the 227th overall selection), was also taken in the 1995 MLB draft, selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 28th round. Bishop played just one season for the Patriots in 2000, his lone season in the NFL, and later played in the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League.