Kevin Love threw 90 mph as ninth-grader in high school
Kevin Love threw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s Yankees-Twins game, and the 6’10” NBA All-Star looked pretty intimidating bringing the heat during warmups. The occasion reminded me of a nugget about Love’s athleticism that not many people know: The T-Wolves forward gave up a promising career in baseball to focus on basketball.
A story published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last year (the story has been archived and is no longer available) discussed Love’s baseball career, and stated that Love was clocked at more than 90 mph as a freshman in high school. Love never pitched in high school because he gave up baseball to play basketball year-round.
Love says his father pushed him more toward basketball and that it appealed to him more because it is up-tempo. He thinks he could have done quite well had he continued with baseball.
“I think I could have taken it pretty far,” Love said of his baseball career. “But at this point, who’s to say? Maybe if I was a lefty I’d still be playing.”
Former Lakers player Mychal Thompson, whose sons are basketball players and played baseball with Love growing up in Oregon, called Love a “Little League legend.”
Love also said he’s going to return to Target Field on Friday to hit and he says he has a bet with a buddy that he can hit the ball out of the park.
As for his pitching performance throwing out the first pitch on Wednesday, Love was dissatisfied.
“I was a little outside, I was a little upset with myself.”
Considering the man is an MVP contender and just won a gold medal as an Olympic basketball player, nobody will say he made the wrong career decision. But with his size and talent at such a young age, I believe he probably could have pitched in the majors had he continued with baseball.
Photo via Kevin Love