Seamheads sure are looking forward to Sunday's big game ... by which we mean the thrilling conclusion of the Caribbean Series. Later in the day, however, it's conceivable that some of those baseball fans might also check out Super Bowl 50.
So, in that spirit of cross-sport connectivity, let's take a look back at a few of the more memorable baseball players to make a go of it on the gridiron -- and some of the more memorable football players to dominate on the diamond -- since the start of the Super Bowl era.
Could you build a World Series or Super Bowl contender out of these guys?
(Editor's note: We know we didn't list everybody; there were just too many to choose from. So please add your favorite omissions in the comments section.)
Bo was an All-Star outfielder for the Kansas City Royals and a Pro Bowl running back for the Los Angeles Raiders, but a hip injury kept him out of both Cooperstown and Canton. Still, despite his brief careers in both leagues, Jackson became a pop culture icon in the late 1980s and early 1990s, not only for his on-the-field heroics but for his off-the-field endorsements -- particularly his classic "Bo Knows" campaign for Nike.
Deion Sanders has the distinction of being the only athlete to play in both the World Series and the Super Bowl. Neon Deion -- selected by the New York Yankees in the 1988 MLB draft -- reached the Fall Classic in 1992 as a member of the Atlanta Braves. Despite hitting .533 and stealing five bases in the series, the left fielder's Braves fell to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games. Prime Time would bounce back quickly in his other sport, where he went on to a Hall of Fame career as a cornerback and punt returner. Sanders won a ring with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, and another one the next year with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jordan and Sanders were teammates in the defensive backfield for parts of three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, though Jordan went on to a lengthy career in the majors and is best remembered as an outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals and Braves (plus short stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers). Jordan got a taste of the Fall Classic in 1999 but, after helping Atlanta beat one Big Apple team in the National League Championship Series, his Braves were swept by the Yankees in the World Series.
Turning from the actual to the hypothetical, we move on to David Mark Winfield. The baseball Hall of Famer ranks among the game's greatest athletes, and, sure enough, he excelled in both baseball and basketball at the University of Minnesota. When draft time came, he was chosen by the San Diego Padres (as a pitcher) in the MLB draft, by the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA draft and the Utah Stars in the ABA draft. So where does football come in? The fourth team to take a flier on Big Dave was the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder even though he didn't play a single down of football in college. Winfield chose baseball, but hey ... you never know.
Like Winfield, this Hall of Famer chose baseball -- and baseball only -- for his profession. But unlike Winfield, The Big Hurt did play football in college, putting in time as a tight end while on a football scholarship at Auburn. Thomas eventually turned his full attention to the diamond, but not before making quite the impression on his football coach. "If he had stuck with football, he'd be going in the Hall of Fame as a football player," Pat Dye -- who also coached Bo Jackson -- told AuburnTigers.com in 2014.
Helton, a five-time All-Star and .316 lifetime hitter over 17 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, might have the closest connection to Super Bowl 50 of anyone on our list. Helton was Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's teammate at Tennessee -- and had a brief stint as the school's starting signal-caller until a knee injury gave the game ball to Manning. Sunday, Manning will take the field for his fourth Super Bowl. Helton, meanwhile, is hoping for a Hall call when he becomes eligible for Cooperstown in 2019. (If you're looking for a Super Bowl 50 connection on the NFC side, former Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke won a Heisman at Florida State, but not before his football career was put on hold by a six-year stint in the minors after he was drafted in the second round by the Blue Jays out of high school in 1990.)
Wilson joined the Texas Rangers for spells in the spring of 2014 and 2015, but it wasn't just a PR stunt. The quarterback of the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks was drafted by both the Baltimore Orioles and Rockies, and even played 93 games, mostly as a second baseman, in the Rockies' farm system in 2010 and 2011.
Fun fact: In Wilson's second Super Bowl appearance, he was bested by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- who himself was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round -- as a catcher -- out of high school in 1995.
On the subject of quarterbacks (more of them to come, too), the Broncos' Hall of Famer was drafted twice by MLB teams: the Royals and Yankees. Elway put on the pinstripes -- well, the Oneonta Yankees pinstripes -- in 1982 as a 22-year-old outfielder with an electric arm. He hit .318 in 42 games in the New York-Penn League, and very well might have made something of himself in the bigs. But two Super Bowl rings mean no regrets.
Before Elway, there was Marino. The Hall of Fame quarterback was selected by the Royals in the fourth round of the 1979 MLB draft as a high school pitcher. But like many NFLers drafted by MLB teams -- a list that also includes Michael Vick, Jameis Winston, Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel, Daunte Culpepper, Eric Decker, Golden Tate and so many others -- he decided to eschew hardball and pick up the pigskin instead. The rest is (NFL) history.
Henson, unlike Elway, actually made it to the majors with the Yankees, playing three games with the big club in 2002 and five more in 2003. He hit .111 in nine at-bats and played 17 errorless innings at third base. After retiring from baseball, the Michigan quarterback (who split playing time there with Brady) returned to football, but found little success there, too, tossing one career touchdown pass in nine games with the Cowboys and Detroit Lions.
Gibby is best known for his World Series heroics with the 1984 Detroit Tigers and, especially, the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, but before all that, he was an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State. Gibson was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals -- the football team -- but opted to stay in his home state after the Tigers made him a first-round pick in 1978.
Shark was an accomplished wide receiver at Notre Dame, but opted out of the NFL draft to play baseball instead. The only active baseball player on our list, Samardzija signed a five-year, $90 million deal this winter to join the San Francisco Giants' starting rotation.