Royals History: Remembering Bo Jackson 30 Years Later
The KC Royals signed the legendary Bo Jackson 30 years ago, shocking the sports world. Everyone expected the former Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn University to play football after the Tamba Bay Bucceneers made him the no. 1 overall pick of the 1986 NFL Draft.
Instead, Bo Jackson signed for less money with the then defending World Champion Kansas City Royals, who had picked Jackson in the fourth round of baseball’s June draft.
For those of you too young to remember, this was earth-shattering news. Bo Jackson was a college football legend. Few people believed that Bo would playing anything but football when Tampa Bay made him the no. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Heck, most people were barely aware he even played baseball.
Rather than accept his coronation as one of the NFL’s elite running backs, Bo Jackson joined the AA Memphis Chicks in Kansas City’s farm system. Even after Bo Jackson signed with the Royals and joined the Chicks, many thought it was just a negotiating ploy to get every last dollar from the notoriously skinflint Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse..
Not so. Hugh Culverhouse had offended Bo Jackson to the point where he absolutely refused to don the Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform under any circumstances. In fact, Bo Jackson’s agent called the Kansas City Royals front office to specifically inform them that Bo wanted to play baseball, which caused them to draft him.
Bo Jackson was one of the greatest athlete’s of the 20th century, who could pretty much do anything that he set his mind to on the athletic field. Had he wanted, he probably could have won an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon as well as qualifying for the sprint team. Instead, he chose to star in football land baseball at Auburn University, and ran track on the side.
However, Bo Jackson began making waves before taking the field against collegiate competition, which is where our story begins:
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