ST. LOUIS — Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Brian Jordan had one of the most unique careers in the history of professional sports.
Not only was he an all-star on the baseball field, he spent three years picking off quarterbacks in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jordan was back in St. Louis this week for Demetrious Johnson's charity golf tournament, and talked about his impressive career, if anyone could accomplish it today and what he thinks of this year's Cardinals.
Jordan's pro sports career started on the football field, where he played safety for the Falcons from 1989 to 1991, racking up five interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four sacks.
Throughout his young career, Jordan had been told time and again he couldn't play two sports, but he wasn't going to hear it.
"That was a dream of mine," Jordan said. "I was not gonna give up on that dream. Even in my college selection, I wanted to go to the University of Maryland. But when Bobby Ross told me I couldn't play freshman baseball I had to leave and went to the University of Richmond where they gave me the opportunity to play both sports as a freshman on through my career. And I was blessed to have that opportunity."
"So many people told me what I couldn't do. And if I would've listened to them, my life would be totally different. But it was a dream of mine as a kid and I stuck to it. And those who said I couldn't, I wanted to prove them wrong. And by getting those opportunities in the NFL with the Falcons, Buffalo Bills... it just carried over. Although the Cardinals signed me to that deal and said no more football, but I was cool with that. Baseball really paid off for me. 15 years later I can say I'm still running around and having fun with the kids."
Jordan debuted with the Cardinals in 1992, becoming one of 69 players in history to play a game in MLB and the NFL.
According to Baseball Almanac, Drew Henson is the last to do it in the years between 2002 and 2008.
And Jordan doesn't think we'll see it happen again.
"Do I see it happening anymore? I really don't because kids are so specialized early in their lives now. Which is to me, a tragic way to go about things. I think every kid should have exposure to all sports, become better athletes and then as they get older make that choice. But the choice is being taken away early for these kids," Jordan said.
Nowadays, Jordan, who played seven years in St. Louis amassing 84 home runs and 367 RBIs, is an analyst for the Braves on Bally Sports South. But St. Louis is never far from his mind.
"I'll never leave St. Louis. Even with my foundation and my programs that I have, reading programs, I'm coming back to St. Louis to really help the underprivileged kids and get them to read. Literacy is so important, so that's my mission in life right now," Jordan said.
And as for this year's Cardinals, Jordan has a few observations.
"I like what I see out of this Cardinals team. They have a good mix of veterans but have some young guys that are promising. Gorman is unbelievable right now. And I like the kid, Donovan, who can play everywhere. Super utility guy in this lineup. Good to see Flaherty back... And once he gets going they'll have a pretty good starting rotation. So, in the end we'll see the Cardinals in the playoffs," Jordan said.