1979-The Year the Kansas City Royals Drafted Dan Marino and John Elway
I guess you could say looking back to the year 1979, the Kansas City Royals had a part in sports history as two players they could have signed wound up with NFL Hall-of-Fame careers. So what would have happened if they chose pro baseball over pro football?
The 1979 Royals fell to second place behind the California Angels in the finals standings in the American League West. They had finished the previous three years as division title winners. The team was still strong but, as with any team, they were looking at possible new talent in the college ranks. Earlier that year the team drafted two college prospects. That draft could have possibly been the beginning of long careers in the major leagues. The two players, in their late teens, had to make a choice-baseball or football, and well...we know which path each chose. Marino went on to play at the University of Pittsburgh and Elway at Stanford.
Dan Marino and John Elway, two future Hall-of-Fame QB's decided it was the way of the pigskin for their careers. But this decision wasn't made in college. It was made in their last days of high school. Neither had played a college football game. The lure of signing for the big bucks with a major league baseball team was in their laps. How much different would have the NFL been if Elway and the Broncos or Marino and the Dolphins never happened?
It's a game of what if. With the athletic talent of these two, it wouldn't have been surprising if they had went on to have many successful years in baseball. We can only go back through the past articles written about the two, speculate and wonder.