Tom Brady has fans begging for the return of the Montreal Expos after the football great was spotted proudly wearing the jersey of the baseball team that drafted him at a recent event in New York City.
“Tom Brady pulled up to a Topps event at the MLB Store in NYC wearing a No. 12 Montreal Expos jersey,” MLB Life shared in a viral X post that has generated over 3,400 likes.
“This is a pretty cool day,” said the seven-time Super Bowl champion as he surprised card collectors at the MLB Store to celebrate Topps’ inaugural Hobby Rip Night. “[I was 10 years old] when I started collecting all my baseball cards. I still have binders full of my favourite players, they’re all wrapped up … I’ve had them for 35 years.”
Brady’s appearance in the jersey immediately had longtime Montreal fans begging Major League Baseball to “Bring back the Expos!”
“He talks/memes so much about being an Expo that at this point, if we do eventually come back, he HAS to be part-owner or something,” one person wrote, with another joking, “Confirmed, he’s signing with the [CFL’s Montreal] Alouettes.”
“He’s going to bring them back,” a third fan commented on Instagram. “I’m calling it now.”
Before he was a seven-time Super Bowl champion, Brady almost had a career in baseball after being drafted out of Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., by the Expos 28 years ago.
The team selected Brady in the 18th round of the 1995 draft, but he elected to pursue a career in football at the University of Michigan. The New England Patriots then took a flyer on Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft picking 199th overall.
In 2015, former Expos scout John Hughes spoke about Brady’s baseball skills.
“I think he would have been a pro,” Hughes said. “He had all the intangibles. He could throw, left-handed power. There is no reason to think this guy couldn’t have been a big league catcher.”
His high school baseball coach Pete Jensen echoed those sentiments in an interview with Sportsnet in 2021.
“He fit the prototypical size and hitting requirements for catchers,” Jenson said. “I thought he was going to be amazing.”
Kevin Malone, the Expos GM who selected Brady, also thinks he missed a bright future in baseball. “I think he could have been one of the greatest catchers ever,” Malone told Bleacher Report in 2017. “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.”
“I was a decent catcher,” Brady said at the Topps event. “But being a catcher and being tall doesn’t work. So I had to pick football instead.”
Over the years, Brady has joked about reviving the Expos, who departed Montreal for Washington after the 2004 baseball season.
In 2019, when former cornerback Aqib Talib tweeted about the blockbuster contracts being handed out to baseball players, Brady responded, “I’ve been trying to get the Expos back on the line for the past month!”
He also shared a Photoshopped image of himself in an Expos uniform. “21 years ago today I was fortunate to be selected by the Expos in the 1995 MLB Draft. But…..I’m so happy I stuck with football!” he wrote on Facebook. “What do you guys think?”
In 2021, Brady trolled the Expos faithful when he pulled an April Fool’s Day prank in which he announced the return of the now-defunct club.
“With opening day today, excited to announce we’re bringing the Expos back to the MLB in 2022. Excited to be the first player/coach/owner in MLB history,” he wrote with a Photoshopped image of himself standing inside Olympic Stadium.
After the five-time Super Bowl MVP stepped away from the gridiron earlier this year, Brady became the last active professional athlete to be drafted by the Expos to retire.
But how does Brady think things would have played out had he stuck to baseball?
“I’d be selling insurance, man. Baseball was not my sport,” he admitted on the Dan Patrick Show last year.
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