Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders?

Deion+Sanders%2C+along+with+Bo+Jackson%2C+was+one+of+the+20th+Century%27s+great+two-sport+athletes.

Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

Deion Sanders, along with Bo Jackson, was one of the 20th Century’s great two-sport athletes.

Evan Suraci, Sports Editor

Two sports athletes are a rarity, especially in today’s sports. However, in the 20th century, two-sport pro athletes were more common due to contracts and athletes specializing in one sport as they get older, but two athletes that were standouts in both of their sports are Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders.

Bo Jackson is a former football and baseball player. People may know him for his alleged 4.13 40 yard dash at the 1986 NFL combine, but Jackson was a completely different breed of athletes. When he played in the NFL, he made the pro bowl and was named Sporting News player of the year in 1985. Jackson went on to have a good career in football, but he did not just stop there. He ended up also playing baseball where he finished with a .250 batting average, 141 home runs, and 415 RBIs. The absurd part about Jackson’s athletic career was when in 1989 he was elected an MLB All-star. While it may not sound like much that he became an MLB All-star, he was also named an all-star athlete in football. While he became a pro bowler in 1990 in football, he also became the only person to ever be an all-star in two professional sports. If that is not enough to consider Jackson a different breed, then you need to check what your definition of a superstar is. Another person who rivaled Bo Jackson in being the best two-sport athlete is Deion Sanders.

Sanders was also a professional football and baseball player. His NFL career was a remarkable career with two super bowl rings and multiple first teams all-pro selections, along with defensive player of the year in 1994. He ended up having a good career in the NFL playing as a cornerback, wide receiver, and return specialist. In Baseball, he had a solid career with a .263 batting average and a little under 200 RBIs and stolen bases. He played well as a center and left fielder, but he was not as dominant as he was when he played football. However, he is the only person ever to win a super bowl and a world series.

Overall, Jackson and Sanders are arguably the best two-sport professional athletes ever. Both of them had very good athletic careers dominating in baseball and football, but if you could only choose one, the best two-sport professional athlete has to be Sanders due to him having a long career while Jackson’s hip injury derailed him from the sports world.