Athletics

Athletics

This isn't the A's first go-around with a two-sport star.

Long before Kyler Murray spurned Oakland in favor of pursuing his NFL dreams, Rickey Henderson had ideas of starring on both the baseball diamond and the football field.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Henderson had the approval of Raiders owner Al Davis to play for the Oakland football team, but the A's shut it 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 told Slusser. “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 continued. "I always used to tell Bo (Jackson) 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, who is serving as a visiting instructor for the A's at spring training, was looking forward to spending some time with Murray, but he doesn't blame the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for pursuing a career as a professional quarterback.

"It’s always a tough choice,” Henderson told the Chronicle of the two-sport predicament. “It’s really what you love, and his love really was football.

“People try to compare his decision and my decision, but mine was different. I came out of high school and I had time to grow in baseball, and he came out of college, he didn’t have as much time with baseball."

 

[RELATED: As Murray chooses NFL, A's 'don't regret the pick at all']

Surely, Murray hopes things work out for him in the NFL. But if not, perhaps baseball is where he's supposed to be, and the A’s will retain Murray’s rights in that sport.

Despite Henderson’s football dreams, a fruitful baseball career awaited the Man of Steal.