Special Report

Greatest Two-Sport Stars Ever

Source: Tim Bradbury / Getty Images

16. Danny Ainge
> Sports: Basketball, baseball

Danny Ainge’s name is synonymous with the Boston Celtics and basketball, but he also had a brief stint with the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. Ainge made it to the majors at just 20 years old, but struggled to make an impact, batting .220 over three seasons. Weeks after leaving baseball, he made his NBA debut and never looked back. He played in the NBA for 14 seasons, eight of them with the Celtics, where he won two NBA titles. He still works as the Celtics general manager.

Source: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

15. Jeff Samardzija
> Sports: Baseball, football

Jeff Samardzija was an All-American wide receiver at Notre Dame and could have been drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. Instead, he chose to pursue his dreams of pitching in the major leagues. Samardzija was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft and quickly worked his way to the majors, where he has been since 2008. He was an All-Star in 2004.

Source: Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Ace Parker
> Sports: Football, baseball

In 1937 and 1938, Clarence “Ace” Parker played both baseball and football professionally. He was an All-Pro tailback for the Brooklyn Dodgers football team in 1938. Parker left baseball in 1938 after two seasons with the Philadelphia A’s and his NFL career took off, winning the 1940 NFL MVP. After returning from World War II, Parker also coached both sports. He was an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Duke University, from 1947 to 1965, and managed the nearby minor league Durham Bulls from 1949 to 1952.

Source: Fair Use / Wikimedia Commons

13. Vic Janowicz
> Sports: Baseball, football

Vic Janowicz was a rare talent whose athletic aspirations were cut short by unfortunate circumstances. Janowicz won the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State in 1950, yet he chose to play pro baseball over football. He played sparingly and hit just .214 in two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before giving the NFL a shot. Janowicz won the Washington Redskins starting tailback job, but then sustained a brain injury in a car accident. He never played pro sports again.

Source: Courtesy of Topps

12. Tom Brown
> Sports: Baseball, football

Tom Brown was a talented two-sport athlete at the University of Maryland in the 1960s. He initially chose baseball, making it to the Washington Senators’ roster before struggling and being sent back down to the minors. His switch to football seemed to be the right move, as he became a key player on the Green Bay Packers teams that won the first two Super Bowls.