ball sports

Why Ricky Williams nearly cut his NFL career short to play professional baseball

Ricky Williams, 45, of San Diego, California, United States is regarded as one of his generation’s best football running backs. At one point in his National Football League career, he was on the verge of switching to another sport and abandoning football.

Williams’ earliest childhood dream was to be a professional baseball player. He expressed an intention to make a change not long after beginning his NFL career.


When Williams visited Audacy’s “The Bradfo Sho”, he talked about his passion for baseball. Selected in the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, the San Diego native performed minor league baseball while attending the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, USA where he played for the Texas Longhorns football team from 1995 to 1998.

Williams had always dreamed of playing and succeeding in baseball but he was selected as the fifth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He would then have to make a choice.


Ricky Williams vs football vs baseball

Raised in San Diego, Williams began watching Notre Dame football when he was 13. On the other hand, he admired the late MLB star Tony Gwynn.

Williams needed collegiate football experience. When the Philadelphia Phillies chose him, he told the baseball scouts that he wanted to play baseball but also needed to play collegiate football.

As a minor league baseball player for the Phillies, Williams was initially not particularly successful. Selected in the eighth round out of high school in 1995, he spent four summers juggling his baseball career with his commitment to the Longhorns.

According to Williams, he was much better at football and that there was a lot more opportunity there. Despite this, he still wanted to engage in both sports.

During William’s career, he missed a lot of games because of injuries he suffered. For a brief period, he thought about playing a less violent sport.

The absence of William from the games had a major impact on the supporters including professional football enthusiasts who bet on the NFL. In situations like this, they examine the implications of prominent players missing games due to injury before placing a wager, which is NFL betting 101.


Ricky Williams’ NFL statistics, retirement

Williams’ desire to pursue professional baseball was reignited after missing 10 games because of injuries during his first two seasons in the NFL. He spoke with a former coach and the Texas Rangers regarding the idea of returning to baseball.

But Williams stayed with football and it paid off handsomely for him. On March 8, 2002, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins.

Overall, Williams dominated the NFL with the most rushing yards, which is 1,853. He was a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler.

During Williams’ 11-year NFL career, he got to play for the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. He accumulated 10,009 rushing yards with an average of 4.1 yards per carry, 66 rushing touchdowns, 342 catches for 2,606 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Williams spent most of his life riding his rhythm. The Heisman Trophy winner retired at his peak before resurfacing to the game for a few more seasons before retiring for good following the 2011 season. 

Despite frequent injuries, Williams managed to showcase his athletic skills. He proved that he possessed a lethal mix of strength, agility and speed.

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