Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray staying optimistic about baseball

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 08: Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates. Murray was drafted by the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 08: Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates. Murray was drafted by the Oakland Athletics. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Arizona Cardinals quarterback, and former Oakland Athletics draft pick, Kyler Murray is not calling it quits yet on baseball, but it seems unlikely.

You might have watched Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray play against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, but don’t forget that he was a first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics. In 2018, Kyler Murray was the ninth overall selection in the MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. As a Sooners outfielder, Murray hit .261, .466 slugging, hit 10 home runs, drove in 47 RBIs, and stole 22 bases.

And we all know that Murray ended up choosing the NFL and entered the 2019 NFL Draft, which was very unfortunate for the Oakland Athletics. Murray was drafted number one overall by the Arizona Cardinals with the hope of him being the franchise quarterback. He became the first player to be selected in the first round of both the NFL and MLB Draft.

Murray has been everything the Cardinals expected and more, which leads people to think his baseball future is getting slimmer. But in a recent appearance on CBS Sports’ Tiki and Tierney, Murray said:

"I played football, baseball, basketball growing up my whole life. I miss basketball. I didn’t get to play basketball as much as I may have wanted to. But I miss baseball, for sure. You know just being in the box, being out there with the guys competing. But I don’t think you know… I know where I’m supposed to be at. I don’t think… if I had chosen baseball I think I would have been missing the hell out of football, a lot more. But for me, I wish I could do both… I definitely feel like I could. I never say never. But as of right now, I’m having fun doing what I love."

Murray is playing out of his mind in his sophomore season, after winning Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. Of course, he is loving football and happy to be in Arizona, Murray deserves every bit of success.

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But as you either heard or read, Murray still has a love for the game of baseball. Kyler Murray was a talented outfielder and many believe that he would have succeeded if he chose baseball over football. There was a reason why he was drafted as a high first-round pick in both the MLB and NFL, it was not just some publicity stunt by the Athletics.

If Murray attempts to make a run for the MLB, the Oakland Athletics still retains his MLB rights. But from his comments, it would be a situation of playing both simultaneously, not choosing baseball over football. Dual sports players are rare, but Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson proved that an athlete can play both football and baseball at the same time. Sanders and Jackson’s baseball careers also exposed some of the issues with playing two sports at the same time. Travel and scheduling being the biggest roadblocks to a smooth two-way sports career.

Russell Wilson is another player who played a little baseball while with the Seattle Seahawks, but his experience was not close to Sanders and Jackson’s. Wilson attended Spring Training with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. The Yankees actually had Wilson’s baseball rights in 2018 and 2019.

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Maybe we will see a Kyler Murray Spring Training appearance with the Athletics similar to what Wilson did, but pursuing an MLB career and an NFL career seems a little unlikely. I love that Murray is still optimistic and wants to get out on the diamond, but his NFL career is taking off and he should focus there. Just like Russell Wilson has been doing.