Kansas City Royals: Back in time, Bo Jackson’s two-sport career

1989: Bo Jackson of the Kansas City Royals rests before a MLB game in the 1989 season. ( Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
1989: Bo Jackson of the Kansas City Royals rests before a MLB game in the 1989 season. ( Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With the news of Kyler Murray committing to the NFL Combine and the impending choice between two sports, we are going back in time to when Bo Jackson played in both the NFL and the MLB for the Kansas City Royals.

Kyler Murray was drafted by the Oakland Athletics with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. He has also committed to participate in the NFL Combine. In Bo Jackson’s time, he could play both: for the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Raiders. Now, critics claim Murray would not have time to play both.

We’re heading 30 years back in time to look back on Bo Jackson’s career with the Kansas City Royals in honor of Murray’s upcoming decision between the MLB and the NFL.

Where it all began

Bo Jackson was drafted in the fourth round by the Kansas City Royals in 1986. He played with Kansas City until 1990. He was drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the same year, but there was controversy.

He chose to stick with the Royals and essentially shunned the Bucs, but a year later, he was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Raiders.

Royals Statistics

Bo Jackson was talented on every playing field he stepped on, whether it be for football or baseball. He finished up the baseball season each year before joining the Raiders. He was an elusive runner on the football field, and the power he displayed carried weight in each uniform.

In his short career, he knocked 141 balls out of the park and ended with a career slash of .250/.308/.480. Of his homeruns, 109 came in his five years with the Royals. He was named an All-Star in 1989, and he finished tenth in MVP voting the same year.

Jackson is open about having no regrets in his career. After a hip fracture playing football led to hip necrosis, he played three more years with the White Sox and Angels, but he was not the Bo Jackson of prior years.

Some critics think that had Jackson just stuck to baseball, he would likely have landed in the MLB Hall of Fame.

Though Kyler Murray does not have ties to the Kansas City Royals organization, he has a big decision to make soon. Bo Jackson played in a time where it was possible to play both. Unfortunately, that option is seemingly non-existent with the amount of time it takes to commit to playing a professional sport.

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Fortunately for Kansas City Royals fans, Bo Jackson was able to play both in the 80’s. It’s unfortunate he was unable to play for longer, but at least he was a Royal during his prime.