Listen, it’s no secret that many of the best athletes in any particular sport were also really good at other sports growing up.
It’s one of the reasons why we, as fans who weren’t good enough,
hate admire them so much.
Every now and then though, we find out something about a professional athlete’s past sporting achievements that surprises us.
Today is one of those days.
This week in the lead up to the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, former Atlanta Braves scout Reggie Sanders (no, not that one) recently spoke to TMZ about one of the key players in the game: Travis Kelce.
While Kelce was playing sports at Cleveland Heights High School in the early 2000s, Sanders was also scouting the area for the Braves.
“So as a baseball player I got a couple opportunities to watch him,” Sanders said about a young Travis Kelce. “He seemed like a big leaguer on the field with high school players.
“I mean, as you can imagine, I mean, six foot five, six foot six, he looks almost the same size today as he was in high school.
“And he was a pretty good hitter. He led Northeast Ohio, several counties I believe, in hitting. The power wasn’t there yet, but the potential was for sure. The speed was above average. I mean, he would steal bases and literally not even draw a throw because he would barely have to slide oftentimes, outrun the catcher, and the pitcher, of course.
“At that point, that’s when I knew in my notes when I wrote reports on him that he was advanced mentally. That was the big part of his athleticism. It wasn’t just pure ability to move, it was really his his mental makeup combining that with the athleticism and it translated in baseball and I knew if he didn’t do the football thing he would make it to the big leagues.
Sanders added, “As far as baseball, I remember writing his report and I comped him to Josh Hamilton. I don’t know if you remember big Josh Hamilton. Travis was about an inch taller than him, I believe Travis is right-handed and Josh is left-handed. But I did comp him as a similar type player and that’s pretty much what he looked like on the diamond too. So if you wanted to imagine what Travis looked like, imagine Josh Hamilton.”
Josh Hamilton, after numerous false starts, eventually ended up being a five-time All-Star, hitting 200 home runs over parts of nine seasons and winning the American League MVP Award in 2010, so that’s quite the comparison for Travis Kelce.
Last week, Sanders posted about Travis Kelce and his brother on Instagram, writing, “17 years ago when their dad approached me to stop Travis from following in the footsteps of his older bother to pursue a career in Major League Baseball, I took on the challenge. However, pure destiny took over to prevent it from happening. Funny thing is, I almost took the most accomplished tight end in NFL history away from the game. This is the one I’m glad I missed on.”
Travis Kelce also recently revealed on his podcast that he was approached by scouts to play junior hockey in Canada and tried to, but his mother wouldn’t let him. Turns out, even to this day, he’s still got a little of that hockey mindset.
Travis Kelce when asked which rule he would add to the NFL “One fight per game. Hockey style. How electric would that be?!” pic.twitter.com/0wfy8nlUAJ
— thay (@ULLYMARK) January 31, 2023