Michael Vick Almost Chose Baseball Over Football

Chris Vinel

The Atlanta Falcons almost missed out on Michael Vick.

In 2000, a year before Atlanta took Vick with the first pick in the NFL Draft, he very nearly became a member of the Colorado Rockies.

Yes, Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

Vick was walking into a Virginia Tech weight room for a football workout when he got a call from Colorado front office executives informing him he was drafted with the 887th pick in the MLB Draft.

He hadn’t played baseball since middle school.

“I didn’t believe them when they told me,” Vick told MLB.com in 2000. “I didn’t think anyone would be interested in me for baseball … Growing up, I dreamed about playing football and baseball. I wanted to be like Deion Sanders.”

For the Rockies, selecting Vick was a low-risk flyer.

"When you can run like him, our feeling was he could cover some ground for us in the outfield," Rockies director of scouting Bill Schmidt said at the time. "I didn't think it was a major investment at that point (30th round). If it didn't work out, we could take a chance. Michael Jordan tried (baseball). Maybe he might want to make a run at it."

But for Vick, it had the potential to change his entire life.

“I was about to take that money. I grew up from nothing,” Vick said to ESPN’s The Undefeated. “We didn’t have anything, and my family was still living in the ’hood … College was a struggle, and I was far removed from baseball, but the Rockies came at me.”

Vick invited Colorado executives into his family’s Virginia apartment, where they pitched him on the idea of picking up a bat again. They never discussed potential monetary amounts.

Vick considered the offer for four days before turning it down. He discussed it with his VT football coach, Frank Beamer, who gave Vick his blessing to try baseball. But Beamer also warned him not to be too near-sighted. Vick was nine months and a good football season away from millions of NFL dollars.

“There’s too much at stake,” Vick told The Roanoke Times in June 2000. “I need to learn everything I can right now to prepare me for the next level. I’m concentrating on football. I’m not really worried about this baseball thing. What matters to me most is me winning for my football team. I ain’t played baseball in six, seven years, so how can I go to play baseball when football is right around the corner?”

And the rest is history.

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