The Oakland A’s might be resigned to losing first-round pick Kyler Murray to football this year.
But when faced with an opportunity in the past, they actually held onto their guy.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, all-time stolen base leader Rickey Henderson was being pursued by Raiders owner Al Davis, before his baseball bosses picked off the idea.
“When Bo Jackson first came into the league, I went to Al Davis to go play football and he was going to let me be a two-way player,” Henderson said. “The Oakland A’s said, ‘Oh, no way. You’re not going out there. That’s not going to happen.’
“That was my chance, and I missed it. I always used to tell Bo [Jackson] and Deion Sanders, ‘I could have done that, played both sports, but the A’s said they weren’t going to let me.’ That was my dream.”
Henderson had 1,406 stolen bases in his career, and the kind of rare speed that always caught Davis’ eye. He had two 1,000-yard seasons as a running back in high school in Oakland, and dreamed of playing for the Raiders, but turned down college scholarship offers to concentrate on baseball.
He supports Murray’s decision to pursue football as his passion, but also knows that baseball will still be there for him if it doesn’t work.
“So he can see if it works out with his love, and if not, he can fall back on baseball,” Henderson said.
For Henderson, it was clearly the right call.