Did tom selleck play baseball? When Hollywood’s ‘Mr. Baseball’ actually played for the Tigers

Did tom selleck play baseball? Remember that time that Hollywood’s “Mr. Baseball” actually got into a Major League game? It happened exactly 31 years ago Sunday, when actor Tom Selleck, of “Magnum, P.I.” — and, yes, “Mr. Baseball” — fame, stepped to the plate for the Tigers in a Spring Training game against the Reds.

On April 3, 1991, Selleck engrossed himself in his latest role — a veteran Yankees first baseman who goes to Japan to keep his professional baseball career alive — in the best way possible: by actually suiting up for a big league club.

“It was just one of the memorable experiences of my life, you know?” Selleck told The Athletic back in 2018. “If anybody asked me what I wanted to be when I was a kid, it wasn’t an actor. It was to be a professional baseball player.”

Selleck was born in Detroit and his hero was Hall of Fame slugger Al Kaline (it’s no coincidence that Selleck regularly wore a Tigers cap in “Magnum, P.I.”). He was able to live out multiple baseball dreams during the spring of 1991, including playing long toss with Kaline each day he was with the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.

Tigers manager Sparky Anderson surprised Selleck during the April 3 contest, calling on him to pinch-hit in the seventh inning. The Hall of Fame manager then thought better of it, since the opposing pitcher at the time was the flame-throwing Nasty Boy, Rob Dibble.

So Selleck stepped into the batter’s box, bad hamstring from the day before and all, in the eighth against right-hander Tim Layana, who himself had a 3.49 ERA out of the bullpen the year before for the World Series champions. Selleck got into a 1-2 hole, but he actually fouled off three pitches with a pretty decent-looking swing.

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did tom selleck play baseball

The time Tom Selleck went to spring training with the Detroit Tigers

It was spring of 1991 in Lakeland, Florida when a young kid, just six years old at the time, was seated in his family’s oversized 1989 blue Ford Econoline van, patiently waiting for his father, longtime Detroit Tigers clubhouse manager James Schmakel, to get out of work.

The vehicle was parked outside the back batting cages at Joker Marchant Stadium when the child noticed a large, athletically-built man scrambling toward the vehicle and into the back seat, with a large masse of onlookers scampering after him in hot pursuit.

Did Patrick Mahomes play in MLB? Chiefs QB’s baseball career explored

Fans are consistently amazed by the incredible passes executed by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. His ability to throw from various arm angles is truly mind-boggling, and it stems from his background in baseball. Before rising to NFL stardom as a backup quarterback, Mahomes played baseball at Texas Tech University.

A young Mahomes may be seen in old video recordings racing around grounds with a baseball attached to his hand, decked out head to toe in the uniform of the team his dad was then playing for, be it the Boston Red Sox or the New York Mets.

When Patrick Mahomes was just a youngster, numerous scouts came to watch him play baseball to check him out.

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The Detroit Tigers took the two-time Super Bowl winner in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, considering him one of the top prospects. However, Mahomes ultimately chose to pursue a commitment to Texas Tech University, where he played both collegiate football and baseball.

While Mahomes excelled in football, his baseball career took a backseat. During the 2015 football season, he amassed impressive statistics with 4,653 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. However, his baseball playing time was limited to just three games that season, in which he went hitless in two at-bats and gave up three runs while pitching. It became evident that his focus was primarily on football, and by his junior year, he decided to permanently leave baseball behind and concentrate solely on football.

Patrick Mahomes’ dad was a professional baseball player

The father of Patrick Mahomes, Pat Mahomes Sr., was a pitcher for a number of organizations, notably the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago Cubs.

Baseball played a significant role in Mahomes II’s upbringing, as he traveled with his father across the country during his 11 seasons in MLB. Mahomes developed a deep passion for the game as he grew older.

Although Mahomes Sr. may not have achieved household name status like his son, he carved out an 11-year stint in MLB as a middle reliever, overcoming early struggles as a starter with the Twins in the early 1990s.

Patrick Mahomes Jr. was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs as the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Since then, he has achieved incredible success, winning two Super Bowls, earning the game’s MVP title twice, and helping the Chiefs become one of the league’s most potent offensive forces.

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did tom selleck play baseball

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes was Drafted by Detroit Tigers in 2014 MLB Draft

His senior year of high school at Whitehouse High School in Texas, the Detroit Tigers selected Mahomes in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Mahomes excelled at Whitehouse, playing baseball, football and basketball.

Mahomes pitched and played outfield for Whitehouse.

In one high school game, Mahomes tossed a dominant no-hitter, striking out 16 in a win over Mount Pleasant. Mahomes was squaring off with a future Major Leaguer and top prospect, Michael Kopech. Kopech was selected 33rd overall in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Mount Pleasant by the Boston Red Sox. He made his Major League debut in 2018 for the Chicago White Sox, and has pitched for the club since.

Mahomes did not sign with the Tigers, opting to play both football and baseball at Texas Tech. Mahomes made one relief appearance his freshman year, in which he gave up three earned runs and two walks, recording zero outs.

After his freshman year, Mahomes stopped playing baseball, focusing instead on football. The rest is history. Mahomes is going for his second Super Bowl ring Sun., Feb. 12.

Mahomes’ father, Pat Mahomes, enjoyed an 11-year Major League career from 1992-2003, in which he pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. He recorded a 42-39 record and 5.47 ERA over 709 innings pitched, 63 starts and 11 relief appearances.

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