Throughout our lives, we make choices. Some of them incredibly difficult. Then there are ones that are not so tough but change your destiny from that point forward. For a very young Tom Brady, freshly out of high school, he was about to make a decision that would lead him to seemingly untouchable heights in the NFL. Ten Super Bowl appearances and seven rings to show for it. Brady has been stamped with the Greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.) moniker at quarterback, and deservedly so. Now that he has switched Conferences from the AFC to the NFC and guided the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl in his first season, just about all who have refrained from calling him the best of all time; have given in.
In 1995, Tom Brady was taken in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Montreal Expos. It was generally known, at the time, that Brady was going to accept the Scholarship to play quarterback at the University of Michigan. So teams were staying away from drafting him. In the eighteenth round, the Expos figured what could it hurt to pick him and try and turn him to baseball. If not, they hadn’t lost much with such a low pick. And, that is what they set out to accomplish with the talented, strong-armed catcher with left-handed-hitting power. That strong arm was throwing out runners at all bases, and those skills are highly coveted in the majors.
So it goes, Brady was asked to tag along on a road trip. The Expos were playing the San Francisco Giants. After a workout for the game, Brady was surrounded by some Expos Players that included F.P. Santangelo. He told Brady that he should go to Ann Arbor and play football.
“We’re like why in the world would you make $800 a month, play in front of 100 people in the minor leagues, riding buses for ten hours when you can play in front of 100,000 people at (Michigan’s) Big House on Saturday.”, Santangelo said. “Enjoy the college experience. So, John’s experience kind of backfired. We were supposed to say ‘Hey Tom, play baseball’ and we were like ‘Hey Tom, play football.’” – Quote per Kyle Burger WFTS Sports
What began as an attempt to lure Brady to the diamond by the Expos organization actually helped push him to the Gridiron at Michigan Stadium. Patriots and Bucs Fans can thank Santangelo for helping ensure he would lead them both to the promised land. Brady’s baseball coach in high school coached 6 catchers that eventually played in the Major Leagues. He says that Brady was by far better than all of them. The most athletic catcher he has ever coached and the smartest. It’s not too far-fetched to believe that had Brady chosen MLB, he would surely have been one of the best to play catcher. Who knows, maybe even the greatest of all time. Not so hard to imagine. Go Bucs!!