Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Marino is remembered as the strong armed quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, someone who had slipped in the draft and was taken with the 27th overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, the sixth quarterback taken overall. Dogged my unsubstantiated rumors of drug use and a difficult senior season at Pitt, Marino came into the NFL determined to become one of the all time greats.
He did just that. While he never managed to win a Super Bowl, Marino still became one of the greatest statistical players in NFL history. He held numerous career and single season records, was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was a six time All-Pro member, including three appearances on the All-Pro First Team. Enshrined in Canton, Marino was voted as the 25th best player in NFL history.
However, prior to his football career, Marino was considered one of the better high school pitchers in the country. He was so highly thought of that he was selected in the fourth round of the 1979 MLB Amateur Draft by the KC Royals, and likely would have gone higher in the draft if not for concerns that he would head to Pitt to play football. Nonetheless, the Royals offered Marino a $35,000 signing in hopes that he would change his mind and play baseball instead.
While one never knows what Dan Marino’s career would have been like on the diamond, one has to imagine that he made the correct decision in sticking with football. The KC Royals selection of Marino in the fourth round of the 1979 Draft is an interesting footnote to a spectacular career.
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