Tom Brady Montreal Expos connection: Why NFL legend’s baseball career is back in spotlight with Fanatics card release

Tom Brady. One of the best quarterbacks to play in the NFL, and one of the (supposedly) best catchers to never play major-league baseball.

The second love of his life continues to be a “what if” months after his retirement from football and decades after his draft selection. What if Brady chose to play baseball? What if he had a decades-long MLB career? What if he helped the Expos win multiple titles (and stay in Montreal)? What if Brady was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? What if Deflategate never happened?

In honor of that possibility, Fanatics has dubbed Dec. 12 “Brady Day,” launching a handful of collectible baseball cards featuring the NFL legend. After all, he was drafted by the Expos out of high school.

MORE: Why did Tom Brady retire?

Tom Brady MLB Draft

With the 507th overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft, the Montreal Expos took a chance and selected Brady.

He was committed to playing football at Michigan that fall, but there was still a chance, a slim one, that Brady would forgo that route and pursue a baseball career.

Still, after he was drafted, he attended Expos batting practices. Some players tried to persuade Brady to play with them, others encouraged him to go to college and play at the Big House. 

“I think he could have been one of the greatest catchers ever,” said Kevin Malone, the Expos general manager, according to Bleacher Report. “I know that’s quite a statement, but the projections were based on the fact we had a left-hand-hitting catcher, with arm strength and who was athletic.”

Tom Brady Montreal Expos baseball card

In “Brady Day” universe, the catcher won seven World Series rings, three MVPs and was memorialized in Cooperstown.

Now, what might have been could be yours, according to Topps, which is releasing a Tom Brady baseball card as part of the 2023 Bowman Draft. Brady is pictured on the cards in a Montreal uniform.

(Courtesy of Fanatics Collectibles)

Tom Brady baseball career

Brady’s baseball career was short and sweet.

He began as a first baseman but switched to catcher during his senior season at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. It was a tough transition at first, but an athlete like Brady had no problem flipping the switch, or bat in this case. After struggling with his hitting at the beginning of the season, the left-handed hitter worked his way up to fifth in the batting order. Still, it was his powerful arm that made many think he could make it as a catcher in the big leagues.

MORE: How Tom Brady nearly chose a baseball career

That year, he was named to the first-team All-West Catholic Athletic League. 

Brady hit .311 with eight homers through two seasons on varsity.

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