Rickey Henderson had a legendary MLB career, earning induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. But he also wanted to play professional football, and Raiders owner Al Davis tried to make it happen.
Henderson told the San Francisco Chronicle that he tried find a way to play for both the Athletics and Raiders simultaneously, but the A's turned him down.
“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," Henderson said. "I always used to tell Bo 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, a leftfielder for the Athletics, was recruited by USC and Arizona as a two-way player, with both schools offering him a chance to play football and baseball. Ultimately, he stuck with baseball, following his mother's instruction.
The former 10-time MLB All-Star said that he was looking forward to a chance to work with Kyler Murray, whom the A's selected with the ninth pick of the 2018 MLB draft, during spring training. Murray, however, recently elected to focus on his football career and is preparing to participate in the NFL Combine, which begins on Feb. 26. Murray is considered a first-round talent by some NFL evaluators.