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Despite Baseball Being 1st Love, Patrick Mahomes Reveals Why He Ditched Detroit Tigers in the 2014 MLB Draft

Published 04/16/2024, 10:20 AM EDT

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It’s no secret at this point that the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is as multifaceted as they come! It wasn’t just football scouts that had an eye on him ever since high school. The three-time MVP could’ve been a part of the MLB in 2014, having been drafted by the Detroit Lions, but his commitment to Texas Tech took him down the career path we now know him for.

Getting drafted so early in his life by a major league baseball franchise must’ve been an enticing offer. Moreover, the QB was surrounded by professionals from the sport, his father being a pro pitcher himself. Recently clip of a young Mahomes scoring a 16-strikeout no-hitter against present MLB star Michael Kopech resurfaced. It is interesting to think how different the NFL would’ve been if the Chiefs star had chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps.

So why did the Texas native choose the NFL despite confessing that baseball was his “first love.” In a recent conversation with Time, the Super Bowl champion opened up about his journey balancing the two sports before ultimately entering the league. Even while entering college, Mahomes ‘plan A’ was the MLB draft.

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“My goal was to go to college, play three years of football, three years of baseball, and go [back] into the MLB draft.” However, juggling the two heavy-practice sports proved to be more difficult than the freshman had expected. His head coach at Texas Tech, now offensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders, Kliff Kingsbury, gave him advice that proved to be a turning point for the future NFL star.

Kingsbury asked the QB to dedicate an entire year to football, and surely a league team would draft him in the first round. As for Mahomes, he had a simple answer. “I was like, ‘Let’s do it,’” he said. “I want to see where this takes me.

Mahomes’ ultimate choice led him to the shiny football career we all are witnessing. However, the lessons from his time with baseball stayed with the star in his pursuit of two back-to-back Super Bowls.

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Lessons from baseball Mahomes carries in his NFL journey

As a high schooler pitcher and having role models like Pat Mahomes Sr. to look up to, the future footballer had an early exposure to baseball. Despite disliking some aspects of the sport initially, Mahomes realized the importance of the diligence that would help him in his NFL pursuit.

I hated when my dad made me hit off a tee,” said the Chiefs’ QB. Mahomes further added, “I’m like, ‘I just want you to throw it to me.’ I go watch Alex Rodriguez. He’s leading the league in home runs, and he’s hitting off the tee every single day. It taught me that even whenever I get to where I want to get to, I can’t let the fundamentals slip. I can’t stop working and doing the little things. That’s what makes people great.”

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Be it his signature no-look passes or unparalleled throws, hours of practice on the baseball pitch helped shape Mahomes into the quarterback he is today. His father echoed the same emotion in a conversation with the LA Times. “You can tell by the way Patrick plays quarterback that he took pieces of his basketball, the jump throws and no-look passes, and pieces of his baseball, the different arm angles, and he put it all together in a package in football,” Said Mahomes Sr.

Today, Patrick Mahomes has 28,424 passing yards, 219 touchdowns, and 63 interceptions in his seven seasons with Kansas City. Having lifted the Lombardi Trophy and achieved the MVP status thrice, a three-peat in the 2024 season is the only item on the QB’s checklist this year.

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Written by:

Sneha Singh

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Sneha Singh is an NFL beat writer at EssentiallySports in the NFL division. She brings immense experience and creativity to the team, courtesy of her line of work as a writing head and web content writer at esteemed organizations. Having developed a liking for the game of touchdowns and tackles since a young age, Sneha harbors prowess over covering in-depth live coverages and off-field fan action.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav