In the 18th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft, the Montreal Expos decided to spend the 507th pick on a high school catcher who was projected to develop into a power hitter.
Ultimately, the player didn’t sign with the Expos, as he already had a scholarship to play football at the University of Michigan. A few years later, he would get drafted again, only this time into the NFL by the Patriots with the 199th pick.
Tom Brady’s baseball background is now merely a footnote in what has become a historic football career, but the 43-year-old revisited it on Thursday in an April Fool’s Day joke amid MLB opening day.
“With opening day today, excited to announce we’re bringing the Expos back to the MLB in 2022,” wrote Brady in a social media post. “Excited to be the first player/coach/owner in MLB history.”
The Expos are now the Nationals, having moved from Montreal to Washington D.C. a decade after selecting Brady in the draft.
Brady is no stranger to April Fool’s Day jokes – one was his very first tweet in 2019:
Was this a bad joke?— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 1, 2019
As for how the seven-time Super Bowl winner might have turned if he’d stayed with baseball, former Expos scout John Hughes said in 2019 that he thinks the quarterback “would have made it, as a catcher, he would have gotten there.”
“He was drafted in the 18th round because everyone knew how difficult it would be to sign him,” Hughes told reporter Kristie Ackert. “He was very talented. I mean on talent alone he would have been projected a late second-round pick.”
Instead, Brady fought for a chance to be Michigan’s starting quarterback, pursuing football instead of baseball. It was a decision that would have monumental ramifications for the Patriots and the rest of the NFL.