Former Chiefs safety Sanders Commings is attempting to join the exclusive club of players who have played in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball.
Commings, a 2013 fifth-round pick who was limited by injuries to just two games with the Chiefs, has signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves organization.
At 26 years old and having not played baseball since high school, Commings is a long shot to ever make it to the majors. But he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school and has reportedly impressed during recent baseball workouts. His odds of making it are probably better than those of Tim Tebow, whose appearance in the Mets organization is viewed by most baseball people as a publicity stunt.
If Commings can make it to the majors, he would be doing something significant in American sports history. Although playing in both the NFL and MLB was fairly common in the early days of the sports leagues (George Halas and Jim Thorpe were among dozens of players to do it), in the last half century it’s been rare. Since 1970, only seven players have done it: Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are legends who played both sports at the same time. Brian Jordan left a good NFL career to have an even better MLB career. D.J. Dozier had short careers in both sports. Chad Hutchinson and Drew Henson had even shorter careers in both sports. And Matt Kinzer was briefly a bad pitcher who also played one game as a replacement punter during the 1987 NFL players’ strike.
That’s an eclectic group, and if Commings joins the list at all he’s going to be closer to the novelty acts at the bottom of the list than the legends at the top of it. But it’s a list Commings would like to join, and getting on that list at all is a huge accomplishment.