Professional athletes dedicate their whole life to train and play sports in the professional level. To even play one sport in a professional level, one must have raw talent with outstanding athleticism, tremendous commitment and determination. Therefore, one athlete playing two sports at a professional level sounds impossible. However, a handful of athletes have surprisingly been able to do so across a wide range of professional sports.
Manny Pacquiao, a worldwide famous boxer with an astonishing record of 60 wins and 4 losses who is most famous for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, is one of many multi-sports athletes. After his retirement, Pacquiao signed a contract with the Mahindra Flood Busters the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in 2016, which many people are not aware of.
Manny Pacquiao is the oldest rookie to ever play in the Philippines Basketball league. His career debut was on October 16, 2016 where he played 7 minutes, scored his first career point on a free throw, and committed his first turnovers before announcing a break back to boxing to defend his welterweight crown. Considering that Pacquiao is considered to be one of boxing greats, it may not be a big surprise that he was able to successfully play two sports, both at a professional level.
Another athlete amongst the multi-sport greats is Bo Jackson. Bo started out as a professional baseball player for the Kansas City Royals in 1986 and ended with the California Angels in 1994. He started his career as a left outfielder for the Royals, and ended it with a .250 batting average, 141 home runs, and 341 runs. He then moved on to play American Football for the Los Angeles Raiders in the National Football League (NFL). Jackson played as a running back for the Raiders and ended with a total of 2,782 rushing yards, and 352 total receiving yards.
Unfortunately, Jackson’s career in Football was cut short when he suffered a career ending hip injury in a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1991. Nonetheless, he is still considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time. His outstanding career with the Raiders still makes many fans wonder the damage he could have done to his opponents if he had not gotten injured.
Another man who is also famous for playing both American football and Baseball at a professional level is Josh Booty. Same as Bo Jackson, Josh first started out his professional career as a Baseball player before the switch to becoming an American Football player. He played as a third baseman for the Florida Marlins, then moved on to playing quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks in 2001.
During Josh’s time in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Marlins, he ended with a batting average of .269, three runs, and seven hits. He then moved on to play for the Seahawks in the NFL. Unfortunately, he did not see any playing time in the NFL, but was still a multisport athlete who showed supreme athleticism.
The fourth man to build a professional career from scratch, who is also best known for his multi sport supremacy, is Jim Thorpe. Jim played professional Baseball and Football and also won two Olympic gold medals for the Pentathlon and Decathlon in the 1912 Sweden Summer Olympics.
He was an All-American Halfback, who later became known as the first big name athlete to play Football, who signed with the Canton Bulldogs in 1915. After his Football career, he went on to play professional Baseball as an outfielder and pinch hitter for the New York Giants, but was traded early in the season to the Cincinnati Reds. However, his professional career did not come to an end with Baseball. After his baseball career, he attempted an acting career, performing in three Hollywood movies before officially retiring from his life from professional jobs.
These athletes are amongst the few who have been able to accomplish the arduous task of being a multi professional sport athlete. They have committed their lives to be the best that they can be, so that history can be made. Who do you think will be the next athlete to make history?