LAS VEGAS – Patrick Mahomes vs. Brock Purdy.
It is, of course, the marquee matchup of Super Bowl 58.
However, it just as easily could have taken place in the World Series instead.
Both starting quarterbacks on Sunday are the sons of professional baseball players, and both spoke this week during their team’s respective media availabilities about how their paths easily could have been significantly different.
“I played baseball my whole life growing up,” Purdy said. “I didn’t know which sport, really, baseball or football, until I got to high school. When I got to high school, I just felt like my love and passion for the game of football is what I wanted to do moving forward. My sophomore year was my last year playing baseball, and I knew that football was probably going to be my future, so that’s the route I went.”
Brock’s father, Shawn, was drafted four separate times between 1987-91, eventually signing on with the-then California Angels, who took him in the 16th round. Shawn Purdy, a six-foot, 205-pound right-handed pitcher, enjoyed an eight-year professional career that topped out at the Triple-A level and ended after the 1998 season, roughly a year before Brock was born.
“I’m sure if I was all-in on baseball, I probably could have had a future in it,” Purdy said. “I don’t know what that would have looked like in terms of going D1 or professional after, I don’t know. But, I always loved the game because of my dad and his career.”
Was Purdy any good on the diamond?
“I played third, and I came in and relief pitched, I hit pretty well,” he said through a big smile. “I feel like I was pretty consistent and I did my job on offense, I probably hit third. But, not bad.”
As for Mahomes, his path in baseball is well-documented, in part due to his father, Pat, who, unfortunately, made headlines with a DWI charge last Saturday, having pitched for six teams over an 11-year big-league career, as well as Patrick’s own success as a player.
Patrick Mahomes came up as a two-sport athlete, and was selected by USA Baseball to participate at the Breakthrough Games. He went to Texas Tech as both a baseball and football player, but reminisced about the decision to stick to football essentially being made for him.
“I thought even after my freshman year of college I was playing baseball after a couple years of playing football,” said Mahomes, who was selected out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
“Then I went to the baseball field my freshman year and I think I had an infinity ERA, so I knew that was probably it for my baseball career. It was something where I always dreamed of being a professional baseball player, and it didn’t work out that way, but it worked out in another avenue. At some point, I’m going to try to get out to spring training and see if I still have any juice left in the arm.”
Mahomes said he “100 percent” thought there was a path where he could have become a baseball player instead, and credits his time in the game to helping him become a better overall athlete.
“Playing baseball, it taught me how to make things happen and how to have a positive mindset,” he said. “In baseball, a third of the time you’re getting a base hit, but all the other times you’re striking out or popping up, whatever. You might hit a line drive to center field and have a great at-bat and you don’t get on base. So, just being able to deal with that and being able to come back and wipe that mindset clean and going out there with the mindset that you’re going to get a hit this time. Or, pitching, I’ve been throwing a lot of strikes, but now you’re walking guys, just going back to striking out guys and doing that type of stuff. It gives you that mindset that you need to continue to work and work to be great, and it translates into football as well.”
Source: Berkshire mont