Deion Sanders never played a single game for the Kansas City Royals despite originally being drafted by them in 1985, and now it is being revealed that the backstory actually went a little deeper.
Houston Astros broadcaster Robert Ford shared a crazy story this week from legendary Royals scout Art Stewart, who was Kansas City’s scouting director at that time. Stewart said that the Royals, who selected Sanders in the sixth round of the 1985 draft, had a verbal agreement with Sanders to sign him out of high school. Stewart assigned a scout to get Sanders to sign that evening but the scout was afraid to go to Sanders’ neighborhood at night and went the next day instead. By then however, it was too late as Florida State had already gotten to Sanders. Ford adds that Stewart was furious and fired the scout.
Sanders went on to play at Florida State for four years, becoming a two-time All-American at football while also competing in baseball and track as well. He was then drafted by and signed with the New York Yankees in 1988 before the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons drafted him as well the very next year, making him one of history’s great multi-sport athletes.
Sanders himself recently said he wished he devoted more time to baseball, and it really makes you wonder how differently his career would have turned out had the Royals scout just shown up on time and signed him as a teenager.