Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/14/12

Two sports that are completely different can offer many of the same stories. Stories depicting tragedy, unexpected success, hype, greatness, and disappointment are transcendent among all sports. It is in this spirit that we hear at The Outside Corner have put our collective heads together and combined America’s two favorite sports, football and baseball.

Who is MLB’s Tom Brady?

Jose Bautista, hands down. These are guys were fundamentally sound and physically gifted, but did not have the accompanying hype that comes with many great players. Brady was supposed to be Drew Bledsoe’s backup, but due to injury was given the chance to shine, and shine he has. Multiple Super Bowl victories later, Brady is considered an icon and one of the better quarterbacks of his generation. Jose Bautista was merely a depth player, but due to different circumstances the Blue Jays were literally forced to play him. Two seasons and 97 homeruns later, Joey Bats is one of the most feared sluggers in the game.

Who is MLB’s Peyton Manning?

Another hands down selection, Derek Jeter. These two future Hall of Famers were drafted with as much hype imaginable at the time (the 90’s, remember those?). Both Peyton and Derek have lived up to the hype and then some in their careers and have brought World Championships to their respective cities. They’ve kept their image clean and displayed unparalleled leadership on and off the field. Two class acts.

Who is MLB’s Reggie Bush?

Not a “hands down” answer like the previous two, but the consensus answer is Alex Gordon. Both Bush and Gordon were drafted with a great degree of hype coming out of college. Both were expected to be superstars right away. Reggie Bush was never bad in New Orleans, but never turned into the superstar folks thought he’d be. But this season in Miami, Bush was given the opportunity to be an every down back and turned into the dynamic player and potentially top tier RB. Alex Gordon was never bad in KC, he just wasn’t great. But after a short trip in the minors and a position change Gordon has turned into a gold-glove LF and dark horse MVP candidate.

Who is MLB’s Michael Vick?

Actually a tough one to consider, mostly because it doesn’t seem like there’s a specific case of an imprisoned player turning into a superstar in Major League Baseball. Kendrys Morales spent a year in Cuban prison for attempting to flee the country, but no one exactly painted him as the villain. The closest Major League Baseball has is Ugueth Urbina. Urbina was a relatively hyped pitcher that had some good seasons and generally a good career in the majors. Then he tried to kill some farmers in the offseason and was sent to prison for 14 years. But really, the only way this one comes close to resembling Vick’s story is if Urbina got out of prison in his late 40’s, was signed to a major league contract and turned into an all-star closer. It’s probably not going to happen.

Who is MLB’s Sterling Sharpe?

For those who are unfamiliar with Sharpe, he was a very good receiver for the Green Bay Packers that never lived up to his potential because of a neck injury. So what major league player had his career derailed by injury? There are two recent players that stuck out more than most, Rocco Baldelli and Mark Prior. Baldelli was a 5-tool prospect that was a stud in the making, starring as the Rays best player at ages 21 and 22. When healthy, Mark Prior was never anything less than spectacular. Unfortunately for both, they’ve spent the last several years trying to stay healthy and break back into major league baseball and regain their superstar status. Both have failed thus far.

Who is MLB’s Ryan Leaf?

Matt Bush. Bush was a highly touted shortstop selected in the first round by the San Diego Padres. Ryan Leaf was a highly touted quarterback drafted by the San Diego Chargers. Leaf flamed out almost immediately, but made a short-lived comeback attempt with the Dallas Cowboys. Bush never actually sniffed the major leagues, because he was never anything but terrible as shortstop. But he’s recently made an attempt at a comeback as a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He actually isn’t entirely bad either, with an ugly ERA but has a great K/9.

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