Updated: Sep 27, 2022
With the MLB season getting underway, this is a good time to take a look back at some former Eagles players who had an opportunity to go pro in another league. There have been 10 Eagles who have been selected in MLB drafts throughout the years. Here's a look at who they are and the brief glance at the stats they piled up on the baseball diamond.
WR Golden Tate
Tate was drafted out of high school as an outfielder by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 1,252nd overall pick (42nd round) of the 2007 MLB Draft. Three years later Tate was also drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the 1,518th overall pick (50th round) of the 2010 MLB Draft. He had not competed in baseball since 2009, his sophomore season with Notre Dame. In 73 collegiate baseball games, Tate had 84 hits (.318 batting average) in 264 at bats, including eight doubles, four triples, and one home run with 25 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. With his football career likely behind him, Tate signed with the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League.
WR Riley Cooper
Cooper was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies as an outfielder with the 457th pick (15th round) of the 2006 MLB Draft. In 52 collegiate baseball games, Cooper had 34 hits (.231 batting average) in 147 at bats, including nine doubles, two triples and four homers with 18 RBIs.
WR DeSean Jackson
Jackson was heavily scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays as an outfielder, and claims that the Rays told him they'd use the eight overall pick on him in the 2005 MLB Draft. But Jackson made it abundantly clear he was focused on football, so neither team took the risk of drafting him. As a high school senior, Jackson had 20 hits (with .296 batting average), stole 25 bases and scored 20 runs. He also posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on six assists.
WR AJ Brown
As a top recruit in both football and baseball, Brown became the second player after Kyler Murray, to play in both the Under Armour All-America Football Game and the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game. Brown was drafted as an outfielder by the San Diego Padres in the 19th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Padres, which prevented him from playing baseball at Ole Miss, but he was still eligible to play football. In 31 total games high school games on record, Brown had 22 hits (a.265 batting average), 21 RBIs, 18 runs, and 13 stolen bases.
QB Adam DiMichele
DiMichele was only on the Eagles offseason roster back in 2009, but we'll still include him on this list. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 38th round of the 2005 MLB Draft, but elected to go to college for baseball before ultimately changing his mind and converting fully to football. He never played a game in the NFL, but he was a QB for a different Philadelphia football team -- he joined the AFL's Philadelphia Soul in 2012.
QB Dennis Dixon
Dixon was only on the Eagles offseason roster back in 2013, but we'll still include him on this list. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as an outfielder in the 20th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, but did not sign. He was then drafted with the 168th overall pick (5th round) by the Atlanta Braves in the 2007 MLB Draft, but after hitting .176 in 74 at bats with two Atlanta Braves rookie league teams he returned back to Oregon to continue his football career.
CB Rashad Barksdale
The Eagles' sixth-round pick in 2007 played both baseball and football at Albany. In 74 games over two seasons, he hit .288 (60-for-208) with six doubles, two triples and three homers along with 29 stolen bases. He was also hit by a pitch 16 times in 247 plate appearances. He bounced around pro football for eight years with five NFL teams, one CFL team, three Arena League teams, and one in the Mid-Continental Football League.
CB Matt Ware
Ware was drafted by the Seattle Mariners with the 639th overall pick (21st round) of the 2001 MLB Draft. He played as an outfielder for the Peoria Mariners of the rookie level Arizona Complex League during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In 14 total games he registered 10 hits in 34 at bats (.294 batting average) along with two RBIs, two stolen bases, and seven runs scored.
QB Michael Vick
Vick was drafted by the Colorado Rockies with the 887th pick (30th round) of the 2000 MLB Draft, even though he hadn’t played baseball since middle school. The Rockies figured taking a low-risk flyer on an athlete like Vick would be worth possibly wasting the pick.
RB Ronnie Brown
Brown was drafted by the Seattle Mariners with the 1253rd overall pick (42nd round) of the 2000 MLB Draft. There is no online history showing any of Brown's high school baseball stats.
WR Freddie Mitchell
Mitchell was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the 1379th overall pick (47th round) of the 1997 MLB Draft. He decided not to sign with them so he could continue his football career at UCLA. He made a return to the diamond in 2000 when he played on UCLA's baseball team, and was teammates with future Phillies second baseman Chase Utley that season. He was then drafted by the Chicago White Sox with the 1441st overall pick (50th round) of the 2000 MLB Draft, but again chose not to sign. There is no online history showing any of Mitchell's UCLA baseball stats.
QB Rodney Peete
MLB scouts must have thought Peete could be persuaded to change career paths, as he was drafted four (!) different times:
1984 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 722nd overall pick (30th round)
1988 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics with the 359th overall pick (14th round)
1989 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics with the 348th overall pick (13th round)
1990 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers with the 742nd overall pick (28th round).
In his three seasons of collegiate baseball, playing second base and shortstop, he batted .297 with 18 home runs and 84 RBIs.
S Clinton Hart
Due to low SAT scores, Hart didn't receive football college scholarships offers and instead played college baseball. He was drafted in the 32nd round in 2000 by the Anaheim Angels, but instead pursued a career in football and started in the Arena Football League. Hart ended up starting in nine games in 2003 for Brian Dawkins, who was out with an Achilles injury.
HC Greasy Neale
Neale spent nine years in the majors, hitting .259 with 139 stolen bases and 71 doubles in 768 games with the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. Neale was on the Reds team that won the 1919 World Series over the Chicago White Sox (notoriously known as the Black Sox). Once his playing days were over Neale then became a college football coach before eventually becoming the Eagles head coach in 1941. He coached the Birds to back-to-back NFL Championship victories in 1948 and 1949.
Page played both football and baseball at UCLA. He was a two-year starter in center field for the Bruins, hitting .195 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 90 games. He was drafted three times — by the Brewers in the fifth round in 2002, by the Rockies in the 32nd round in 2005 and by the Angels in the seventh round in 2006. But he focused on football after college and spent seven years in the NFL, including 2011 as a safety with the Eagles. After the 2011 season, Page returned to baseball and spent the 2012 season with Rancho Cucamonga and San Jose of the Class-A California League and Fresno of the Pacific Coast League. In 40 games with those three teams, he hit .151 (21-for-139) with three doubles, two triples, one home run, 10 RBIs, and seven stolen bases.
third-string QB of the 1980 Eagles. Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the 1977 MLB June Amateur Draft from USC, the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (15th) of the 1978 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase, and the San Diego Padres in the 2nd round of the 1978 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase.