It’s fun to play “What If” with sports history.
What if the Negro Leagues players had been in the majors the whole time? What if the Portland Trail Blazers had drafted Michael Jordan? What if Bo Jackson had stuck to just one sport?
Well, Jackson told Monday Morning Quarterback that had he known about the devastating effects of concussions that he would have skipped football and stuck to baseball.
History shows us that Jackson suffered a hip injury while playing for the Raiders in 1991, and that ended his football career.
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At the time, Jackson had come off his two best seasons with the Royals. He hit 60 homers with 183 RBIs in just 246 games. In 1989, Jackson had a triple slash line of .256/.310/.495 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs in 135 games.
He never played for the Royals again after suffering the injury, because the Royals released him in March 1991. Jackson played for the White Sox and Indians after that and never matched that success.
Jackson told MMQB that if he had young kids and they wanted to play football, he wouldn’t let them because of concussions.
“Because if I’d have known back then what I know now, to be honest with you, I probably would have taken a different path,” Jackson said. “I probably just would have played baseball.”
Imagine if Jackson had stuck to just baseball and the Royals.
Just a guess here, but I think he’d have broken Steve Balboni’s single-season home-run record of 36. Jackson had that big season in 1989 despite having played for the Raiders since 1987. If he had stuck with baseball, I think that record would be Bo’s.
But that’s just another “What If.”