After a football career that included an NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP award, Bo Jackson was the first athlete to total more than 100 yards in both the Olympics and the World Series in the same year. But, while Bo remains the only athlete to have ever competed in both the Olympics and the World Series, he didn’t do so in the same season. In fact, Bo’s Olympic and Super Bowl performances came in separate seasons. Yearly, the question of whether Bo was MLB or NFL MVP comes up. It was a long debate that the Green Bay Packers star won in a landslide. But at the time of the debate, in 1991, the debate was just as intense in the NFL as it was in the MLB.
The news is not all bad for Bo Jackson lately. After hinting at the possibility of a comeback in an interview with Alex Marvez last week, Jackson has committed to playing baseball in the Arizona Fall League. Bo, who retired in 2001, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. He also played briefly in the major leagues, mostly in the 1990s.
One of the most legendary athletes to ever play the game of baseball, Bo Jackson, was also one of the most notorious athletes to ever play the game of football, although his biggest feat wouldn’t come in the fall of a football helmet, but the summer of a baseball bat.
Bo Jackson has not scored a touchdown since he played for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990 and has not hit a home run since 1994 with the California Angels. Yet the legend of one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century continues to grow. Century continues. Jackson’s hitherto little-known story, now on the radar, seems too good to be true – except that a generation of sports fans will remember how his priceless athletic ability made it all possible.
Bo Jackson’s legend began in high school
. The latest story about Jackson’s phenomenal athletic ability in his prime involves an impromptu session with Auburn University’s diving team. But to fully appreciate it, some context is necessary. Jackson’s path to stardom as a professional athlete began in high school. In his senior year at McCullough, Alabama, he ran for 1,175 yards for the football team. He set indoor state records in the high jump and triple jump, and Jackson split his duties between the baseball and track teams in the spring. In baseball, he hit 20 home runs in 25 games. In track and field, Jackson was a multiple state champion in the decathlon. The decathlon is a grueling two-day race, but the way he won each time highlighted his greatness. In both events, Jackson said in a 1999 interview that he had scored so many points in nine events that he did not compete in the final event, the 1,500-meter.
Jackson inspired diving coaches and participants
A hip injury limited Bo Jackson’s impressive multi-sport career to four NFL seasons. | George Rose/Getty Images Jackson went to Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals in 1986 and to the NFL with the Raiders the following year, making him one of the most talked about athletes of his generation. In 1989, Nike brought Jackson and his sons to the Auburn campus to film one of the Bo Knows commercials that entertained sports fans. After filming some basketball scenes in the gym, Jackson took his sons to the indoor pool where coach Rick Theobald was training Auburn’s divers. Jackson asked Theobald if his sons could swim in the shallow end of the pool; the coach was familiar with Jackson’s career and agreed. After watching the practice, Jackson asked Theobald if he could dive off the one-meter board. With his playing weight of 220 pounds, Jackson was at least 50 pounds heavier than any other student-athlete Theobald has coached, so expectations were low as the divers stood at the edge of the pool and watched the action unfold. Let’s just say there was a fair amount of skepticism in the pool, Theobald told MLB.com. Jackson made an exaggerated high jump, landing so hard that the end of the board crashed into the pool, and somersaulted 2.5 times – diving into the water with near-perfect form. My jaw must have hit the ground. And all the divers, all the kids that were there, were clapping and talking. Oh, my God! They were all as shocked and impressed as I was. Rick Theobald Theobald was dumbfounded and asked Jackson if he wanted to try the 10-foot board. Jackson said something like: No, man, I’m not crazy, the coach said.
Memorable but short career
. Bo Jackson’s career at Auburn is as impressive as his high school portfolio. He competed in the SEC Championships in the 100-meter dash in his first two years, hit .401 and 17 home runs in his junior year, and won the Heisman Trophy in his senior year. In baseball, he played eight seasons in the MLB, hitting 141 home runs and a .250 average. In football, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 38 games over four seasons. His 221-yard performance on Monday Night Football’s game , a month into his rookie season, remains an iconic moment in prime-time sports. A hip injury Jackson suffered along a long sideline in a playoff game following the 1990 season ended his NFL career, but he was able to enjoy three more years of his baseball career before retiring. If he dedicated himself entirely to one sport, Jackson might be Hall of Fame material. By giving himself a few, he has given sports fans memories that will last a lifetime. Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 . APPROPRIATE: Bo Jackson’s first day of practice with the Raiders changed everything for Marcus Allen.In a Sports Illustrated interview in 1999, Bo Jackson told reporter Alan Schwarz that his most impressive athletic feat “was a dunking of … a telephone pole … in a parade.” Bo’s (successful) attempt to dunk a telephone pole set off a nationwide debate over whether he had performed the feat, and whether it was a legitimate athletic feat.. Read more about bo jackson 40 time and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was Bo Jackson the best athlete ever?
For many of us, one of the first sports we ever started playing was baseball. Once we discovered the joys of catching, throwing, and hitting a ball, we were hooked, and we went on to play soccer, football, hockey, and (yep) basketball. But for some players, a career in the sport doesn’t end after they retire. At the height of his career in 1989 while playing for the Kansas City Royals, Bo Jackson hit an inside the park home run, which he then decided to keep, knowing that it was a Home Run. He did this not because of a desire to be completely accurate, but because he was enamored of the fact that someone could actually hit a home run into a ballpark. The fact that someone could do that made Jackson think that he could do the same.
Which sport was Bo Jackson better at?
The Big Train was a pretty big deal. He grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and as an 18 year old, he left school to join the Oakland Raiders. He was drafted as a linebacker, but would switch to playing running back and wide receiver when he signed with the team. He was a force to be reckoned with in the NFL, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He played in the NFL for 14 years, and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1987. There are a lot of things that made Bo Jackson one of the greatest athletes of all time, but the most shocking thing about him is the fact that he was much better at football and baseball than he was at basketball. While he was the most physically talented player in all of sports, he was not a great scorer or a great shooter, and as a result he spent most of his career as an outfielder rather than a ball player.
Why did Bo Jackson stop playing baseball?
Before he retired from baseball, Bo Jackson was known for his amazing athleticism, which included the ability to run like a cheetah. From a young age, Jackson was a standout player in baseball and football, going on to win two World Series with the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. In the early 1980s, Jackson was even signed by the Cincinnati Reds to a multimillion dollar contract, which was the third highest in baseball history. After just two years in baseball, however, Jackson decided to retire from the sport. His reasoning? The injuries he sustained in the game of baseball ruined his ability to play football, in which he was a star. In 1983, Bo Jackson, a soccer player from Alabama, was drafted by the Oakland Athletics. Many believed he would be a star, but his time in the majors was short. Jackson was a huge soccer fan, and loved the game, but began to play basketball because he felt baseball was too “rigid” and “strict”. Jackson’s playing style was unorthodox, as he played with his feet too far apart, and would often jump way out of bounds.
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