Royals History: Remembering Bo Jackson 30 Years Later
By John Viril
Bo Jackson Signs With Raiders
Tampa Bay’s rights to Bo Jackson lapsed after one year, and the Los Angeles Raiders picked him in the fifth round of the 1987 NFL draft. No one thought much of the move at the time, since Jackson had chosen baseball and was currently playing for the Kansas City Royals.
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People should have known better. Bo Jackson shocked the world once again on July 14, 1987 when he announced that he would play football for the Raiders after his baseball season ended as an “off-season hobby”.
In 1987, the still raw Bo Jackson struggled through his first full season in major-league baseball with a .235/.296/.455 triple slash with 22 home runs in 434 plate appearances. Once his season was complete, he joined the Raiders in October. He displaced Future-Hall-Of-Fame running back Marcus Allen from the tailback spot, and played a total of seven games in 1987. Jackson merely rushed for 554 yards on 81 carries: an absurd 6.8 yards per carry average.
Bo Jackson was skilled enough at his off-season hobby to move the great Marcus Allen to fullback in the middle of Allen’s prime at 27-years-old. Highlights from that season include a 91 yard touchdown run on Monday Night Football, and running over hyped Oklahoma All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth who had been drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.
Bo Jackson might have still been developing his baseball skills, but he clearly possessed All-Star talent as a football player.
Next: Bo Jackson Makes NFL And MLB All-Star Games